Traditions are a part of our culture and serve as an anchor for celebrations from generation to generation. During the holidays we treasure the traditions we’ve established with friends, family and in our community. One of the most time honored of those is how we ring in the New Year. From champagne toasts and midnight kisses to game nights and countdowns in city squares, celebrating a new year has a common thread for all of us.
One of the most enduring New Year’s tradition involves a special beverage. A New Year’s Party isn’t complete without a champagne toast at midnight, but why?
It all began when Champagne was first produced roughly 15-hundred years ago. At the time it was a flat wine product fermented in the champagne region of France and was shipped in barrels and drunk right away.¹
Eventually champagne was left to sit a few months longer, allowing it to ferment and produce the bubbles it is now known for. French vintners began shipping it in bottles, rather than barrels, to maintain the effervescence and soon European nobles and wealthy merchants alike were demanding a bit of the “bubbly” for special occasions.
Wine has long been a part of New Year’s eve celebrations – first in religious rituals ,then in secular ceremonies. Champagne’s reputation as a wine “fit for the gods” and as the ultimate celebratory beverage has been reinforced by today’s marketing and has led to the traditional midnight champagne toast.
Food and Champagne
Wondering what to serve with champagne for your party? It is best with pastas in cream sauce and is known as a regular partner to oysters and lobster. But champagne can pair quite well with simple foods such as these:
Corn dogs with Dijon mustard
Looking to create something special for your New year’s eve menu? Try some of these recipes
It is said that a kiss at the stroke of midnight will mean a year full of love. It is common for couples to participate in this long-standing tradition, but often families and friends hug and kiss each other on the cheek as a way to ensure that the year ahead will continue to be marked with friendship and familial love too.
Here’s a List of some great New year’s kissing scenes on film!
The most notable New Year’s Eve drop takes place each year in Times Square in New York. The 10-second countdown as the glittering ball slides down the pole serves as a visual marker for the moment when one year ends and another begins. It is also cause for a gathering that attracts thousands of people from all over.
In many other cities drops occur as a local event. In 1989, Atlanta began the “peach drop” at Underground Atlanta. In the past, the drop has attracted more than 100-thousand revelers. This year, however, it may not be announced until closer to the date whether or not there will be a drop. Last year there was also a last-minute notification of the event.²
The day after
A New Year’s Day brunch is a tradition that has many sleepy people gathering to feast on such classics as black-eyed peas, collards, and cornbread. The notion that black-eyed peas bring good luck for the new year actually began 1,500 years ago and was a Jewish custom. It spread to the southern United States in the 18th century and has become a regular feature on the first day of the year.³
Tradition holds that also serving greens, such as collards, represents wealth in the new year and that cornbread represents gold. Whatever you eat, it’s fun to celebrate the New Year with some long-standing traditions.
Try something new
Not a fan of black-eyed peas or collards – order some of our delicious breakfast items and start your own tradition!