The Real Reason We Make So Much Noise At Midnight On New Year's Eve

From fireworks to noisemakers, and from cheering to bell ringing, more often than not, New Year's Eve is a time to be loud. Ringing in the new year loudly is a tradition all around the world. In Japan, for example, there's the Bell-Ringing Ceremony, during which the new year is welcomed with 108 strikes of the end-of-the-year bell called a joya no kane, per Matcha. This tradition is based in the Buddhist belief system that there are 108 worldly desires, and ringing the bell helps to suppress them, getting your New Year off on a fresh footing.

Bells, however, aren't the only noisy thing we use to ring in the New Year. According to Almanac, guns are fired in Thailand, and in Denmark, plates and glasses are smashed. Another noisy New Year tradition comes from Italy, where furniture is thrown out the window exactly when the clock strikes 12. Apart from how we make so much noise on New Year's, though, the real reason we do so is rooted in something a bit more sinister.

Dispel evil spirits

Throughout history and no matter where in the world the new year is being celebrated, one common theme is the practice of using loud sounds to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck, similarly to how the Japanese ring a bell to suppress the 108 world desires. This holds true in many other parts of the planet as well. Those cracked plates and dishes in Denmark? That practice, too, is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune to the home against which they're being smashed, per Country Living, and the Italian New Year's furniture toss is meant to clean the slate for only good things to happen in the new year, according to Cosmopolitan

Regardless of the country in question, one of the most common noise-making methods on New Year's Eve are fireworks. Fireworks were invented in China, and it's generally accepted that the tradition of lighting fireworks to mark the new year has its roots in traditions from that part of the world. Evil spirits notwithstanding, New Year's is a time to celebrate, and whenever there's a celebration, there's bound to be some noise.