Kissing the old year goodbye

Kissing the old year goodbye

Read about the author Samantha Evans

New Year’s Eve is the last goodbye to the year that has passed and welcoming the New Year. It is the final celebration of a couple of weeks of over-indulging on sumptuous food and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, allowing us to put on our party clothes, reflect on the past year and wonder what the new year has to offer.

A survey carried out in 2007 by Touchtunes Corp among 84,500 people found that 34% of them considered that midnight kiss on NYE to be more important than watching your weight, meeting someone new or getting the perfect gift this year.

So why do we kiss at the stroke of midnight?

This traditional custom can be traced back as far as Roman times when they observed the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, and festivals around the Winter Solstice at this time of year.

The ancient Greeks would celebrate Saturnalia by kissing underneath mistletoe, because it was associated with fertility. The Romans would reconcile differences with enemies under mistletoe, as it represented peace. Romans also decorated their houses and temples with mistletoe in midwinter to please their gods.

Mistletoe can often be seen growing in the branches of trees such as hawthorn, poplar and lime, although in the UK the most common hosts are cultivated apple trees where it can be found in apple orchards across the UK as it prefers hosts in open situations with plenty of light.

Tenbury Wells on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border has long been associated with the sale of Mistletoe for Christmas. The whole of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire areas were once involved in this trade having many apple orchards but Tenbury Wells is the only town to still hold mistletoe auctions with wholesale buyers come from all over the country to bid for local mistletoe lots. Sadly COVID-19 has stopped the mistletoe autions being held for the first time in 160 years but Tenbury Wells say they will be back bigger and better in 2021.

During Victorian times any young women who refused a kiss under the mistletoe should not expect to receive a marriage proposal during the next year!

Later on, during the Renaissance, masquerade balls were popular across Europe. Bustle reported that at midnight, people would remove their masks, and kisses were a way of purifying each other from evil. It was a way of starting the new year with a clean slate.

In old German and English legends, the first person you came into contact with, be it a friend or casual acquaintance would set the way in which your coming year would play out.

A kiss from a loved one ensured good tidings, but to kiss someone less favoured or no one at all didn’t bode well for the forthcoming 12 months.

During Hogmanay, the Scottish new year celebration, it is traditional to give a kiss to everyone in the room to connect friends and strangers, and it also makes the single people feel a bit better.

Prominent kisses in films include the famous end of NYE kiss in ‘When Harry Met Sally’,when Harry finally admits he loves Sal, a scene just as memorable as Sally’s fake orgasm. We all got gooey when Bridget Jones enjoys a gorgeous kiss in the snow with Colin Firth- so romantic!

NYE- the 2nd sexist holiday of the year

Often considered overrated, did you know that NYE is considered the 2nd sexist holiday of the year after Valentine’s Day, according to a survey of 2000 people by Good in Bed.

The survey found that 31% of men and 37% of women believed that NYE was the sexiest holiday after Valentine’s Day, with 46.7% of men and 47.3% of women putting extra effort into having sexual fun with their partner on NYE. 27.7% of men and 22.8% were slightly more likely to have sex with their partner on NYE.

Is New Year’s Eve the best time to propose?

Traditionally weddings take place during the summer months, but proposals of marriage peaks throughout the winter months. The festive season seems to bring out the romantic side of our partners, with Christmas Eve being the most popular day that people, in particular men, would choose for popping the question.

A survey of 7,000 men and women conducted by Chillisauce in 2013 found that Christmas Eve even pipped Valentine’s Day to the top slot, with 33% choosing this day followed by 30% on Valentine’s Day. 13% chose Christmas Day, followed by New Year’s Eve (9%). A surprising 6% opted for the spooky choice of Halloween.

Men and women do differ in what day they would choose, with 25% of men choosing Christmas Eve but 22% of women choosing Valentine’s Day. Scottish women are even harder to please, with 18% wanting an extravagant proposal. Our Irish cousins prefer a more poetic proposal, whereas Welsh women like a proposal in the form of song!

So, start preparing those luscious lips now to ensure they are in perfect shape for the most important kiss of the year.

Invest in a stick of lip salve

Make your lips kissable by using plenty of lip salve over the next few weeks, protecting them from the chilly weather to create shiny seductive lips ready for an oral feast of sensual kisses on NYE.

Brush and floss regularly

Bad breath is a no-no, so ensure that your oral hygiene regime is flawless. Brush and floss before leaving for the festivities, take breath mints/gum and don’t smoke.

Kiss appropriately

Normally I would give advice about kissing strangers but this year I strongly recommend you pass on this to avoid COVID-19! Hopefully we will be able to kiss who we want to next New Year!

If you are all loved-up, be careful not to go overboard on the sexual expressions to avoid needing to get a room – or get a room if you need to!

Be sensitive around single people who may be feeling a little low: they don’t need to have their noses rubbed in the fact you are so in love!

Hug loved ones in your bubble

With COVID-19 in our midst, this New Year Eve will be different from previous years for many. Celebrations will be more low key as people only socialise in their bubble but you can still give your nearest and dearest a hug to let them know how much you love them and include your single “ bubble” friends too. Who knows, next year they may be kissing their own prince or princess!