Those last 10 seconds of the year are often fraught with lip-lock peril. According to English and German folklore, the first person you meet in the new year - and what you do during that meeting - sets the tone for the next 12 months.
Generations of superstition have since whittled that idea down to this: not kissing someone (anyone!) when the clock hits midnight forebodes a year of loneliness.
So what does a good or bad kiss say about the year ahead? Here's an unscientific list of predictions of what those different smooches you had on Thursday night might say.
1 A quick, dry peck on the lips. Or worse, a kiss on the cheek.
Your love life may not be going anywhere fast this year, but that leaves you plenty of time to focus on your work. We foresee a career milestone reached - a graduation, new job or promotion.
2 A sloppy smack with too much tongue.
You'll never see this person again or you'll embark on a brief yet passionate fling that will end poorly. Hot and heavy make-outs in January will be followed by enraged blocking of Facebook profiles in February.
3 A slow-motion dip and lip lock, preferably with confetti floating down around you.
This is too good to be true. So much so, we doubt it's ever happened outside of a Nora Ephron movie. But if it happens to you, buckle up - you're in for a romance made for the movies. Just remember that most romantic comedies roll credits right after the big kiss: what happens next is nowhere near as cinematic.
4 A hot and heavy make-out sesh that begins 30 minutes before countdown.
Jackpot. You've taken pressure off the dreaded midnight mark. An extended make-out can reinvigorate a long-term relationship (remember what it was like when you started dating?) or it can jump-start something new. Plus, your easygoing attitude and free spirit will surely lead to adventures in the new year.
5 A sneaky, swinging smooch with someone new.
Risky business, indeed. Several friends told me tales of New Year's Eves when one half of an established couple went rogue and kissed someone new. As you might imagine, the next year brought breakups. Ruining your relationship is one thing, but be careful about messing with others' affairs: make sure your target is unattached before moving in.
6 No one to kiss.
No worries. Whether you're at home in front of the TV or in the middle of a crowded club, obsessing over the perfect start to the new year will make it anything but. Mock tradition and kiss yourself. You have the rest of the year to kiss someone else.
10, 9... Where's that cute girl I was flirting with an hour ago?
8, 7, 6... Is the tall guy counting down next to me attractive or is that the champagne talking?
5, 4... Is it okay to kiss a friend?
3, 2, 1... Dear God, where's a breath mint?