Throughout the world, for generations, everyone has their own traditions and superstitions to bring them good luck and fortune in the new year. From what you eat, what you wear, and what you do on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it’s believed that they can affect the outcome of your entire new year. In my family it’s considered good luck if you’ve even shown up for the New Year’s party, and if you have, all the better if you sing Auld Lang Syne at the top of your lungs with gusto!
Here are a few New Year’s traditions that are thought to bring good luck:
-Make sure to spend the New Year’s with family and friends.
-And don’t forget to eat 12 grapes (one for each month of the year), black eyed peas, or any legumes and ham hocks, sauerkraut, greens, and anything in the shape of a ring -as it is said to symbolize coming full circle-such as doughnuts or Chiacchiere which are honey drenched balls of fried dough -very popular in Italy. Also, per German tradition- leave a little bit of each food on your plate past midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year.
-Make lots of noise at the ringing of midnight to chase away any bad spirits, and open all your windows so all the bad stuff of the past year can fly out. Hold a piece of silver or gold as the New Year chimes – it is said to increase the chances of prosperity in the coming year (some place a silver coin over the doorway or a penny on the windowsill).
-Wear a pair of new red underwear on New Year’s Eve and something red on New Year’s Day (I suppose the red underwear would count, just don’t tell your mother you didn’t change your underwear!).
–And as per epicurious.com, they mention that you should avoid at all costs lobster and chicken on New Year’s since lobsters crawl backwards and could cause setbacks in the new year, and chicken’s scratch backwards so this could cause regret or too much dwelling on the past.
-Oh, and make sure to sing Auld Lang Syne very loud and dance around a tree (dancing around a tree (especially outside) ensures luck, love, and prosperity), while kissing your spouse or significant other (kissing your spouse or significant other at midnight ensures that you will remain intimate with that person. To not kiss means a cold relationship for the year).
-Also, make sure that the first person through the door on the new year is a tall dark-haired man –he has to knock and be let in – not use a key to enter. He would ideally be carrying a piece of coal (the house will always be warm), bread (the household will always have food), money (obvious), and greenery (for long life).
Here’s the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne if you don’t know them: (does anyone?)
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne. CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne! And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp, And surely I’ll be mine, And we’ll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne! We twa hae run about the braes, And pou’d the gowans fine, But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit, Sin auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl’d in the burn, Frae morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid hae roar’d Sin auld lang syne. And there’s a hand my trusty fiere, And gie’s a hand o thine, And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught, For auld lang syne.”
And here are more from Chris McLaughlin at suite101;
New Year’s Day Superstitions
-The first-footer (first visitor of the year) brings extra luck if he happens to have a high in-step, or comes on a horse.
-The first words you hear in the minutes of the New Year will set the precedence for the entire year.
-Do something you are good or successful at on New Year’s Day – especially if it’s work related. This will tell how the rest of the New Year will go.
-Any baby born on New Year’s Day has good luck the rest of his/her life. The baby also brings good luck to the family.
-Nothing goes out – not even the garbage. The flip version of this rule is that nothing goes out until something new comes in.
-No money should be spent (that would be going out).
-No sweeping or dusting the first day of the year. The good luck could be swept out. If you have to sweep, you should sweep towards the center of the house and use a dust pan. (Some cultures “sweep out” the old year.)
-No crying January 1st, or you will be crying all year long.
New Year’s Eve Superstitions
-First-footers can’t have flat feet, be cross-eyed, or have eyebrows that meet in the center.
-A first-footer can’t have blond or red hair, and a woman first-footer would be disastrous.
-Poultry should never be eaten on January 1st. Poultry scratch for their food, so those who eat poultry will “scratch” for their food all year.
So with all of those New Year’s traditions accomplished, if you’ve done it right, you should have a fantastic new year. Good Luck and a very Happy New Year to you!
Resources & More Reading:
New Year’s Traditions http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearcelebrations.html#ixzz19hKa9kQH
For more New Year’s features see the History of New Year and Saying “Happy New Year!” Around the World . Epicurious; http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/newyearsday/luckyfoods#ixzz19hLBBrOD
New Year’s Day Traditions and Superstitions: What to Eat, Wear and Do for Good Luck on January 1st – http://www.suite101.com/content/new-years-day-traditions-and-superstitions-a82027#ixzz19hIiWAlx
More about New Year traditions around the Web:
Ethnic New Year’s Recipes – Many New Year’s traditions are built around foods. In Korea, the US, Germany and throughout the world there are foods to bring luck, health and happiness in the coming year. This collection of international New Year recipes has pretzels, Hoppin’ John with black-eyed peas, collard greens, Korean Rice Cake Soup (deokguk) and many more recipes for traditional foods for good fortune in the New Year…
New Year’s Festivals Around the World – Tour the customs associated with the New Year alphabetically starting in Austria and ending in Vietnam. The foods for health and prosperity as well as traditional good luck symbols are explained…
Irish Christmas and New Year Customs and Superstitions – The Celtic traditions and superstitions left over from the Druids form the basis for traditions in Ireland. Much of the mythology of New Year’s comes from the ancient Samhain festivals…
New Year’s Superstitions in Scotland and Wales – First footing, letting in the New Year, and water traditions may ring a bell if your family heritage includes some Celtic roots. These beliefs were transported to other lands by immigrants and many have become common in other ethnic communities…http://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday/new-year-traditions.htm