phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Ring in the New Year

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on December 30, 2005

In Reply to: Ring in the New Year posted by greggbard on December 30, 2005

: It is that time of year...we are all ready to "ring in the New Year." So what is the origin of that phrase? It seems it's probably church bell related, but does any know for sure?

Yes. It used to be customary in England to "ring out" the Old Year at midnight on New Year's Eve by tolling the church bells as though for a person who had died, and "ring in" the new year with a cheerful peal. There is a wellknown poem by Tennyson, written in 1850, that refers to this custom. This is the first verse:
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.