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New Year's traditions:the midnight kiss,pork and sauerkraut

Published December 31. 2013 05:01PM

Here's a look at New Year's traditions.

• The annual ball drop: According to the Countdown Entertainment LLC and Times Square Alliance, the idea of a ball drop began in 1833, when the first "time-ball" was installed on England's Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The ball was designed to drop every day at 1 p.m., to allow captains of nearby ships to set their chronometers for navigational purposes.

In 1907, the idea was modified and used in Times Square, where it became a universal symbol of New Year's celebrations.

• The midnight kiss: The kiss is something out of folklore, where it was believed that the first person you come across, as well as the nature of the encounter, will set the tone for the year.

According to, the official site of Ryan Seacrest, the host of New Year's Rockin' Eve in Times Square, the reason for the kiss is because if you don't kiss someone, your year will be filled with coldness and lack of affection.

• Pork and Sauerkraut: The traditional meal dates back centuries and has its origins in German and Pennsylvania Dutch customs.

According to, the sour cabbage complemented the pork and the combined meal is meant to bring good luck for the upcoming year.

• Resolutions: The history of resolutions dates back 4,000 years to Babylon, and are meant for helping others and becoming a better person. Over the centuries, resolutions have shifted to focus more on self-image.

• Auld Lang Syne: The song that people sing at midnight on New Year's was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788 and published in December 1796, five months after Burns had died.

According to, "Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland's gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours' hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future."

• Black-eyed peas: The eating of black-eyed peas has been around since 500 A.D. There are a number of believed reasons for consuming the legumes on New Year's Day. Some believed the dried beans looked liked coins; while others believed that as the dried beans expanded when cooked, they symbolized wealth and monetary gains.

Typical Southern New Year's dishes are black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread or Hoppin' John, which includes the beans, rice and ham or pork hock.

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