Have you ever wondered why the majority of the world toasts with champagne at midnight on New Year? We did, too, and decided to find out!

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According to historians, the history of champagne toast goes all the way back to the 16th century. Europeans who came from wealth popped bottles at all of their most opulent parties and drinking champagne was something only the elite and wealthy did because it was so expensive.

Because of the expense, it comes as no surprise that the drink of choice for King Louis XIV of France was...champagne. Rumor has it the king drank champagne with each meal for just about his entire life.

As Europeans traveled across the ocean and settled here in the Americas, they brought their bottle-popping tradition with them. History tells us that by the year 1800, it was common for church bells to ring at midnight on New Year, firearms to be fired, and for people to walk from house to house fully expecting the door to be swung open with the traveler invited in for a drink.

Eventually, the price of champagne dropped thanks to winemakers such as Dom Perignon (yes, he was a real guy!). The innovative winemakers developed the needed technology to bottle carbonated wine and this means that over time, champagne became an affordable drink for those who weren’t just part of the upper crust of society. Those who had never been able to enjoy the drink that was once only for royalty now had the opportunity and the tradition has lived on all of these years later.

LOOK: Holiday gift crazes and fads of the past century

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Gallery Credit: Jennnifer Billock

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