New Year's Kisses

New Year's Eve at the Diamond Horse-shoe in New York, on the 31st December 1941.

According to some superstitions, German immigrants in the US can be credited with spreading the tradition of sharing a kiss on New Year's Eve.

One of the earliest recorded references to smooching at midnight on New Year’s Eve is the 3rd January 1863 New York Times report on festivities in New York City.

"New-Year’s Eve is a great time among the Germans, who assemble around the domestic fireside, in their public halls, their club houses, their theatres, their concert houses and their bier-knerpe, or minor beer cellars, to pass the waning hours of the old year, with music, song, the drama and the farce, good cheer and merriment,” the article explains.

As the clocks ring out the hour of midnight, all this festivity pauses for a moment, to listen, and as the last stroke dies into silence, all big and little, old and young, male and female, push into each other’s arms, and hearty kisses go round like rolls of labial musketry, with the exclamation “Prost’s Neujahr!” (Hail the New-Year!)"

Photo: Bettmann | Text: Time


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