Here's Why It's A Longtime Tradition To Kiss Someone On New Year's

by Cosmo Luce
Christopher Gregory/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Kissing has long been a part of cold, wintry traditions, beginning back in Ancient Rome. The reason why we kiss on New Year's might stem from the Roman's festival to celebrate the agricultural god Saturn, according to Bustle. The festival, called Saturnalia, was held every December around the winter solstice (and may or may not have been a massive orgy). What we do know is that the week-long festival to honor the god of seed and sowing came with plenty of merrymaking, including gift-giving, wine drinking, and kissing beneath the mistletoe. While this last tradition has been integrated into Christmas today, it likely extends to the practice of kissing at the turn of the new year, too.

But the ancient Romans aren't the only point of origin for a New Year's smooch. English and German folklore suggested sharing a kiss at midnight nourished a blossoming new romance and made young lovers become closer. They held the superstitious belief that the person you encountered at the beginning of the year could determine how the next 12 months proceeded. They also believed that not kissing someone at New Year's would result in a loveless and forlorn romantic life for the next year.

Of course, movies have hyped up the frenzy of finding someone to mack on at New Year's as well. Films like When Harry Met Sally and Bridget Jones's Diary made kissing at midnight seem like the epitome of romance.

Well, who knows whether or not the Romans, Germans, and English are right, but some other benefits of sharing a New Year's kiss with someone special abound:

1. Kissing At New Year's Gives You A Shared Memory

It is kind of lonely to stand in the middle of a room with no one to smooch. It's also kind of amazing and beautiful when two strangers find one another and bestow a good luck kiss out of mutual affection. I can remember everyone whom I kissed at midnight for the last few years, even if they were just my friend. When you touch lips in celebration, it harkens all the way back to the Romans, and in all honestly, that's pretty cool.

2. It's Really Fun

All of the superstitions around kissing at New Year's stem from a sense of debaucheries and celebration. I really doubt that the ancient Romans were too fixated on what wouldn't happen if they didn't get a Saturnalian kiss. When you share a smooch with someone, even a stranger, it gives you an additional layer to your relationship. There's nothing wrong with letting loose and partaking in a little bit of silly celebration.

3. You Get To Hit The Reset Button On Your Love Life

Finally, if the superstitions are true, then a New Year's kiss is an opportunity to start off the next year on the right foot. If you had a boring love life in 2017, then kissing a stranger on New Year's Eve might mean you'll take more risks in 2018. If you look for ways that a superstition comes true, you're going to find it. So focus on the positive manifestation of what a New Year's kiss might mean. If you decide that kissing someone when the clock strikes 12 will bring something good, no matter what, then that's probably what will happen for you.

As for me, I don't believe that not having anyone to kiss at New Year's dooms you to an entire year of lovelessness. My own personal superstition is that it's better to be choosey about finding just the right person to smooch at midnight than grabbing the nearest stranger when the ball drops. Who knows? Maybe kicking off 2018 by settling could set you up to get less than you deserve in the new year.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!