It’s tradition that when the clock strikes midnight, moving the needle from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, you find someone to share a New Year’s kiss.
Sometimes it’s a simple peck on the cheek from a relative or friend. Sometimes it’s … well, sometimes it’s a bit more than a kiss from a significant other or someone you just met, but can’t quite remember their name.
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Why does this tradition exist? Does anyone know?
There probably isn’t any real reasoning behind it. It’s probably just some crock about good luck in the New Year.
I just find it interesting because it’s both welcoming and exclusionary. It promotes love and companionship and gathering together with those for whom you feel something for those you do not feel something yet. Yet, yet, yet … Yet, what about all those left on the sidelines, watching all those smiley, happy people canoodling and swapping champagne coated kisses? This tradition just magnifies and multiplies the loneliness of those without the warmth of midnight kisses.
They are alone and after the affair they are even more alone and that hole of loneliness deepens as the night progresses into dawn, only beginning to alleviate once the pain and strain of their hangover begins to set in.
As traditions go, though, it isn’t a bad one. It’s celebratory and fun and loving.
But there’s another downside as well. New Year’s Eve is a well known rookie night. It’s a night when people who do not know how to handle their liquor go out to the city or party in the suburbs and drink themselves silly.
Drunk people make bad decisions.
When it comes time to find someone to kiss, a crowd of jumbled, drunk people with blurred vision and lowered inhibitions who don’t really know how to handle themselves may find themselves inside and outsider’s arms. That is to say that New Year’s Eve is a night that has spawned many marital infidelities.
I’m not really sure what my point is. I’m sure many a great romance has started on New Year’s Eve as well, for the exact same reason.
I guess my point is that it’s an odd tradition and one that is oddly human. It’s loving and celebratory and sloppy and beautiful and dangerous and stupid and harmful and wonderful. What more could you ask for? Go out there and get drunk and get laid or get sad or just love the one you’re with.
Happy New Year.