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Calendar >  Traditions and Superstitions of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Traditions and Superstitions of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

By   /  December 28, 2021  /  No Comments

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By TR Robertson

There are quite a few unusual and interesting traditions and superstitions surrounding the celebration of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day around the world. The dropping of the famous glittering ball in New York City’s Times Square rings in the New Year for many. We all choose to celebrate the New Year in our own way, many celebrating with traditions passed down from our parents and grandparents. Here are a few of the more common and unusual ways people welcome in the New Year.

Common Celebrations in the United States

The most common celebration at the chiming of the clock for midnight, ending the old year and bringing in the new, is to kiss someone to welcome in the beginning of a New Year. This started from the days of masked balls held on New Year’s Eve and kissing someone to ward off evil spirts and bring good fortune for the New Year.  But, there are so many more traditions and superstitions you can follow to ensure good luck, good fortune, happiness and much more.

  • Never take anything out of your home on the first day of the New Year. This includes trash, delivering presents, moving furniture.
  • Do not do laundry on the first day or wash any dishes.
  • Wear something new on the first day of the year.
  • Do not pay back any loans or lend money on New Year’s Day.
  • Avoid breaking things on the first day.
  • Don’t cry on the first day of the year.
  • At midnight, open all doors to let the old year escape.
  • Make loud noises at midnight to scare away evil spirits.
  • Babies born on the first day of a New Year will have luck on their side.
  • The eating any of the following food on the first day of a New Year will ensure a successful and fortunate New Year: black eyed peas, lentil soup, long noodles, ham hocks, collard greens, cabbage, round fruits, whole fish with the head and tail, pomegranates, cornbread, pork with sauerkraut. The reason for pork only is because poultry scratch backwards, cows stand still mostly but pigs always root forward.
  • As far as the weather on the first day of the New Year, if in the early hours of the first day the wind is blowing from the south the New Year will have fine weather and there will be prosperous times. If the wind is blowing from the north it will mean a bad year for the weather. If the wind blows from the east, famine and calamities will follow and if the wind blows from the west, plentiful supplies of milk and fish will exist. If there is no wind at all it will be a prosperous and joyful year.

Unusual New Year’s Traditions and Superstitions from Around the World

Denmark – people climb on chairs and jump into the New Year and some shatter unused dishes against the doors of friends or family.

Ecuador – many burn paper filled scarecrows and photographs from the last year to ensure good luck.

Spain – stuffing 12 grapes into your mouth at midnight will bring good luck.

South American Countries – wear colored underwear to determine your fate. Red will bring you love, gold will bring you wealth and white will bring you peace.

Japan – people ring the bells in their homes 108 times. This is in alignment with the Buddhist belief that this will bring cleanness to your life.

Switzerland – eat ice cream and drop it on the floor to celebrate the start of a New Year.

Romania – many throw their spare coins in a river for good luck.

Puerto Rico – throwing pails of water out of a window will drive evil spirits away.

Bolivia – bakers bake coins into sweets – whoever finds the coin will have good luck.

France – Everyone must have pancakes on the first day of the New Year.

Columbia – many can be seen carrying a suitcase with them all day on the first day of a New Year in hopes of having a travel filled year.

Thailand – people can be seen throwing buckets of water on each other and smearing others with gray talc.

Chile – some families spend New Year’s Eve in the company of their deceased ones sleeping overnight in the cemetery.

Ireland – hitting the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirts is one New Years past time.

South Africa – some can be seen throwing furniture out of windows of their homes to ensure the start of a new year.

Siberia – jumping into a frozen lake carrying a tree trunk begins a new year for some

Panama – burning the effigies of everyone and anyone famous is a popular tradition.

Scotland – the 1st person to cross the threshold of a home in the New Year should carry a gift for the home owner to ensure good luck.

Estonia – you should eat seven times on a New Year’s Day to ensure abundance in the New Year.

Whatever your superstitions or traditions are, make sure you don’t forget to do them and above all, have a Safe and Happy New Year.

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