The start of the new year is an opportunity to reflect on the past and to look ahead to the future.  New Year’s is celebrated around the world with the hope that better days are ahead.  Over the years, people have established various customs and traditions to ring in the new year.  Today, the holiday revelry includes parties, champagne, and shooting off fireworks.  Here is how some of our favorite traditions began.

Kissing at Midnight

The tradition to kiss the first person you see at the stroke of midnight is rooted in German and English folklore. It is believed that when you kiss it wades off the evil spirits and purifies the new beginning.

Times Square Ball Drop

Since 1907, when fireworks were banned in New York City, the ball has dropped to welcome the new year in from the Times Square.  An estimated 1 million people travel to Times Square in New York City to watch the New Year’s Eve Ball descend a minute before midnight and to count down the final seconds before the new year begins. More than 1 billion people watch worldwide as the illuminated Waterford crystal ball is lowered down to welcome the new year. The ball has a different pattern for each New Year’s celebration.

 Auld Lang Syne

Originally a poem by Robert Burns, “Auld Lang Syne” was adapted in the 18th century to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song.  It translates to “times gone by”.  People sing it after midnight, which is the start of the new year.

Bubbly Toasts

The sound of champagne corks popping at midnight is common at parties and home celebrations.  Champagne is the most popular drink used to toast in the new year. Wassail, an English cider-like punch, or mulled wine have been used in the past instead of the bubbly beverage.

Fireworks

People all over the world ring in the new year with noisemakers, sparklers and fireworks.  It began as a way to ward off evil spirits.  Today you can watch the fireworks celebrations in faraway cities, such as Hong Kong or Sydney on your television.

New Year’s marks a date of newly found happiness and a clean slate. For many it is opportunity to learn from the prior year and make positive changes in their life.  Come into Earp’s for your champagne to toast the new year!