I always look forward to the New Year. It is full of possibilities and a time to shed the old and move forward in faith. However, like any other holiday, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have some unusual superstitions and thoughts surrounding them. Here are some of my favorites:
A lot of New Year’s traditions surround the food we eat. For example, many cultures all over the world, not just the U.S., believe it’s important to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.
Some believe that the first people you lay eyes on in the New Year will determine whether or not your year will be positive or negative. If that’s true, I suggest you invite your best friends over for an early New Year’s breakfast like my family has. That always ensures we start the year off on the right foot – – with friendly and positive people.
In Holland, they eat donuts on New Year’s Day because the round shape is believed to express a full circle of life from one year to the next.
Many cultures make sure that no form of fowl is served on New Year’s Day. That’s because they believe it will mean the family will have to “scratch out” a living for the entire year.
Many Orientals will eat sticky rice around midnight on New Year’s Day to ensure a year of prosperity and good fortune.
In Scotland, New Year’s Day is often considered more important than Christmas. It dates back to the time of pagan festivals for the winter solstice.
The ball dropped in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is made from crystal (Waterford, to be exact). It weighs slightly more than one-half ton.
The New York ball has been dropped almost every year. It was; however, suspended during the early 40’s because of the blackout restrictions of war.
The average New Year’s Eve party has a guest list of less than 50 people.
The concept of making resolutions for the New Year dates back thousands of years to the Babylonians.
Robert Burns of Scotland wrote the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” song over 300 years ago. No one knows for certain when it became an inseparable part of the New Year’s Eve tradition.
Kissing at midnight was originally started within a family to ensure that it celebrated the year with those nearest and dearest to their hearts in order to maintain complete affection for the coming year. The tradition was later expanded to also include friends.
Firecrackers and noisemakers became a part of New Year’s Day in order to scare away any remaining evil spirits and ensure a fresh New Year’s start.
Some believe it is important in your career to do something very positive for your work on New Year’s Day. That will supposedly ensure that you will have a successful year.
Some people believe that nothing, including the trash, should be emptied on New Year’s Day. They consider it bad luck and an omen of a truly bad year to come.
Others think breaking anything on New Year’s Day ensures a year of broken things like friendships and marriages.
In some cultures, the front door to the home is left open at midnight to let the old year out and the new one in.
Babies born on New Year’s are said to always have prosperity and luck on their side.
The most famous of all New Year’s Day parades, The Tournament of Roses, dates back before the turn of the last century in 1890.
The first Rose Bowl Game was played in 1902 but then it didn’t happen again until 1916, when it finally stuck and eventually became a yearly tradition.
We celebrate the New Year in months, with a zodiac sign (e.g., Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, etc.) for each month. The Chinese celebrate the whole year with one of 12 special animals (e.g., the year of the Monkey, Tiger, or Pig).
POPE GREGORY XIII chose January 1st as the first day of the New Year in 1582.
The New Year’s Baby dates back to ancient Greece and their celebration of their fertility god who was supposedly born anew each year.
Father Time is also a Greek derivative of the Grim Reaper or Cronos who was the god of time.
The most common New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. About 60% of all Americans will establish that resolution this year.
1001 Unbelievable Facts by Helen Otway; Arturus Publishing Limited, 2010