The meaning of a kiss in the New Year's Eve moment of Westerners

Historians believe that according to the old German concept, a New Year’s Eve kiss can bring good luck for the new year.

The moment of New Year’s Eve is a very sacred time, saying goodbye to an old year and welcoming the coming new year. This is also the time when people want to be with their loved ones and welcome the new year together. When the lovers are together, at the right time of New Year’s Eve, they will exchange a warm kiss, which is said to bring good luck in the new year. The true meaning of this act of sweetness also has to do with a tradition that dates back to ancient times.

According to historians, at the end of the crop in the middle of winter, the ancient Romans used to hold a celebration for a week to honor Saturn, their god of agriculture. Many Christmas and New Year traditions today stem from this festival such as decorating the house, hanging laurel wreaths, giving gifts, taking time off work, eating and spending time together.

The meaning of a kiss in the New Year's Eve moment of Westerners
Jillianne Sabatini and Stephen Regalia kiss in Times Square, New York, USA, January 1, 2018. (Photo: Reuters).

In “The Religion of Rome” , historians say that during this festival, “hierarchy and rules in society are halted” , meaning that people can live more liberally than usual, couples The couple freely express their affection and enjoy the passionate moment together.

Some people also believe that the first day of the year determines the rest of the year. Therefore, when they give each other a kiss at the moment of transition between the old year and the new year, they will always be happy together that whole year.

During the European Renaissance from the 15th to 17th centuries, carnivals were very popular at the end of the year. When the mask is removed on New Year’s Eve, people will kiss the first person they see. This ritual is believed to help wash away bad luck that happened in the old year.

This tradition resembles the British view that kissing brings blessings to those we love, giving them the strength to fight bad luck, according to astronomer and anthropologist Anthony Aveni.

The meaning of a kiss in the New Year's Eve moment of Westerners
New Year’s Eve at Diamond Horse-shoe, New York City, December 31, 1941. (Photo: Bettmann).

The folk beliefs of the British and Germans believe that the person who celebrates the new year with us will bring good luck or bad luck for the whole year. German immigrants to the United States in the mid-19th century are said to have popularized the New Year’s Eve kiss tradition, according to Alexis McCrossen, author of a history of the view of time in American culture.

This female author quoted an article published on January 3, 1863 by the New York Times about the New Year’s Eve atmosphere in New York City as follows: “New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time for Germans” , the article newspaper. “When the clock strikes 12 o’clock at night, all fun activities stop for a moment to give way to silence for reflection and when the last second of the old year is over, everyone, big or small. , old and young, men and women, all rushed into each other’s arms, they exchanged passionate kisses, exclaiming ‘Happy New Year!'”

This tradition then transcended the scope of the German immigrant community . “Cities in the US expanded and more and more immigrants from Europe poured in with New Year’s celebrations,” said history professor McCrossen. “Despite this, the Germans still have a great influence on American culture and customs.”

American society has different attitudes towards immigrants from different countries. “Germans are more respected than Italians and other immigrant groups,” Professor McCrossen points out. As a result, many German customs quickly spread in American society.

After the electricity was lit in the 1880s, the nightlife became lively and people started going out for New Year’s Eve. “That’s when the custom of kissing during the transition of the old year and the new year became popular.”

In 1907, New York banned fireworks and the city government devised a new way to celebrate the New Year – releasing a glass ball. Images of lovers exchanging kisses on Times Square were broadcast on the bridge, making the New Year’s Eve kiss an increasingly popular custom around the world.

No one knows how the traditions of the ancient Romans, British or Germans are right or wrong, but we all know that sharing the first kiss of the year with the one you love brings a lot of special points, creating The excitement for the coming new year promises to be filled with sweetness and love.