Why do we have a Champagne toast at midnight?

New Year’s Eve is a time of great celebration. As a means of expressing ourselves we perform traditional acts, such as watching the ball drop in Times Square, or on the television. We often attend gatherings of varying sizes or sit with our families until midnight to celebrate together. Traditions are important to us. New Year’s Eve traditional practices are constant. Some of these practices include kissing, watching the ball drop and having a champagne toast at midnight. The champagne toast is a very fitting end to the year, as it marks not only the transition of time, but the importance with which we view the New Year.

Why do we have a champagne toast at midnight? There is no exact account to answer this question. However, the strength of this continued practice and the other occasions for which we toast can give an idea as to why. We make toasts at weddings, dinners and other gatherings, whenever we wish to share some important information.

Let us examine the ballroom dancing of the past, with kings and queens and other noblemen in attendance. They would laugh, dance and feast. However, when an important announcement is to be announced by the royal family, they all stop with a drink in hand and listen.

“Hear ye, hear ye!”

The toast is made and they all salute with the raising of the glass and then a sip of the liquid that splashes against the container. This scene is a picture of elegance and sophistication. The imagined fluidity with which each person moves is an indication of tradition. Just imagine.

Who is to dispute that the tradition didn’t originate by accident? Anything is possible, yet the tradition lives on. It is New Year’s Eve, and the party is going great. Everyone has a drink in hand, whether they are sitting or standing in clusters. A man scurries across the dance floor. He accidentally bumps into another person, the music halts, and everyone turns their attention to him. Embarrassed and unsure how to divert the attention, the man addresses the crowd.

“Hello. Goodnight.” No one responds and he gets anxious. “Happy new year!!” he shouts and everyone rejoices. That seems probable right?

Tradition lives on. This is so in our culture and others around the world. No one really knows how the idea of having a champagne toast at midnight started. However, in our hearts we know why it continues. Whether someone purposefully toasted at midnight on New Year’s Eve, or it was an accident, the tradition helps us to remember the importance of the holiday celebration and allows us to enjoy the company of others.

The annual Champagne toast at midnight, which is practiced by millions of people, is a means of getting everyone involved in the celebration of the New Year. Each of us acknowledges the change with a sip of champagne, or another drink if champagne is not available. This tradition is a means of recognizing change, and the sparkling expectation for the future.

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