BY LINDSEY NORMAN AND ALISON DOYLE
Many people kiss on New Year's Eve at midnight for the purpose of starting a new year with their significant other. What most people don’t know is that this tradition traces back to the 8th century B.C. Ancient Romans used to hold the Festival of Saturnalia annually, and scholars believe that a midnight kiss was the start to some of the celebrations held at this event. During the Renaissance period, masquerade balls were held in Europe, and the masks everyone wore symbolized the evil spirits and the wickedness from the previous year. At midnight, everyone removed their masks and shared a kiss with someone as a purifying force that was known to banish the evil and start off the new year with a clean slate. The kiss symbolized good luck, and not kissing someone was considered a chance for bad luck.