To insure luck and prosperity for the New Year, simply follow these tried and true rituals…
Every New Year my family has followed certain superstitious rituals to help bring in the coming year for New Year’s Eve. As an adult living on my own I’ve continued these rituals afraid to NOT do them for fear that perhaps these rituals actually worked.
Over the years I have collected more rituals that are followed before and on the eve of the New Year as well as those to be followed on New Year’s Day. We do them every year!
Many of our friends have asked me if following these superstitions really do what they say they will do. I have to admit, my life has been so very blessed over the years. This does not mean it has ever been without incident, but we always found the blessings within each year. I’m certain it requires faith and belief in ourselves first, but a little superstitious effort certainly doesn’t hurt.
I offer no guarantees as to the results you may get by doing these superstitions, but they certainly are a lot of fun to follow for the entire family.
Before New Year’s Eve
1. The entire house should be clean before New Year’s Day. This gets rid of all the old energy that has lain dormant around the home causing misfortune. On New Year’s Eve, all brooms, dusters, vacuums, mops, and other cleaning equipment and supplies are put away.
2. The New Year must not be seen with bare or empty cupboards, lest that be the way of things for the coming New Year. Do your grocery shopping before New Year’s Day.
3. All debts should be paid before the New Year, so checks should be written and mailed out prior to January 1st. Likewise, personal debts should be settled before the New Year arrives. Now many of you may not be paid before New Year’s Day but you can still write out your monthly checks just as you normally would and place them in an envelope addressed and stamped and ready to be mailed. Set the intention that the bills are paid. As well, if you owe a personal debt that you have not been able to meet make an effort to contact that individual to set up a new agreement to pay off the debt. Going into the New Year with this positive energy will assist you in paying off your debt and prevent any ill feelings around your debt following you into the New Year.
4. Make sure any unfinished projects are completed before New Year’s Day. This includes any items that need to be mended or repaired.
5. Plant a new plant or tree before New Year’s Day asking the Earth Mother to bless you with the gift of growth during the New Year. If you are unable to plant something outside place a new plant indoors.
6. Make a list of things that you have done during the old year, both good and the bad, and then burn it outside asking that you be blessed with the passion of warmth and love.
On New Year’s Eve
1. Place a dollar bill under a new loaf of bread to insure that you have food all year long.
2. Place a dollar bill under a New Year Calendar to insure that you will have money all year long.
3. Place change in your left pocket to bring change to you in the New Year. We use the left pocket as left signifies receiving; the right pocket represents giving out/away.
4. The wallets of everyone in the household should be stocked with money to guarantee prosperity in the New Year and to symbolize always having money in your wallet.
5. A Japanese custom is to forgive friends and family for any misunderstandings and disagreements they may have had that year so they can make a clean start of the New Year.
6. The Japanese also ring bells 108 times on December 31st to chase away 108 troubles. The people all laugh after the gongs because laughter will drive away the bad spirits. With all the bad spirits gone and troubles and enemies forgiven, they enjoy a day of celebration.
7. To keep out evil spirits and misfortune hang a rope of straw across the front of your home, this stands for happiness and good luck.
8. One Irish custom practiced on New Year’s Eve was to take a large loaf of Christmas bread or cake (this was probably the popular fruit cake) outside and hammer it against the closed door and windows. This was done to drive out any misfortune and let happiness in.
9. If a dark haired man is the first person to cross the threshold of a house after midnight on New Year’s Eve much good luck will enter with him. In order to insure such a fortunate visitation it is not unusual for a member of the household, if he’s dark, to go out and come in again just after the hour of midnight. After greeting the household guests the dark haired man should make his way through the house and exit through a different door than the one he entered. No one should leave the home before the first footer arrives. Blonde or redheaded first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the household.
10. Place some money in a paper bag and place it just outside the front door before the stroke of midnight. After midnight, bring the bag inside making sure the bag enters through the door first (it would not be a bad idea to have the dark haired man do this). This insures that money is the first thing to cross your threshold in the New Year. For those who live alone, place the money in a basket attached to a string. Then after the stroke of midnight pull on the string, making sure your hand or arm does not cross the threshold, and pull the basket into the doorway.
11. On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve every door in the house, and even the windows, should be opened to allow the old year to go out unimpeded.
12. Clocks should be wound up immediately as the New Year begins in order to endow the house with good fortune. In addition, if you have a clock that is battery operated be sure it has new batteries. To have a clock not working is to signify stagnant time or no forward movement in New Year.
13. New Year’s revelers in Spain consume twelve grapes at midnight; one grape for each stroke of the clock. This dates back to 1909, when grape growers in the Alicante region of Spain initiated the practice to take care of a grape surplus. Each grape represents a different month, so if for instance the third grape is a bit sour; March might be a rocky month. For most, the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight to insure twelve happy months, but Peruvians insist on taking in a 13th grape for good measure.
14. We kiss those dearest to us at midnight to share a moment of celebration with others but also to insure that those affections and ties will continue throughout the next 12 months. To not smooch our significant others at that time would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.
15. Make as much noise as possible at midnight. You are not just celebrating; you are scaring away evil spirits so do a darned good job of it!
16. When the New Year begins laugh as loud and hardy as you can! This is believed to bring good luck in the New Year.
New Year’s Day
1. Sweeping or dusting should not be done on New Year’s Day for fear that good fortune will be swept away. After New Year’s Day the floors may be swept. However, there are a couple of rules to follow: begin your sweeping at the door, the dirt and rubbish are swept to the middle of the room, then placed in the trash can and not thrown out until the 5th day of January. Also, to sweep the dust and dirt out of your house by the front entrance is to sweep away the good fortune of the family; it must always be swept inward and then carried out, then no harm will follow. All trash should always be taken out by the back door.
2. It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions, a time of pondering past mistakes and promising to do better, or setting goals to break bad habits; and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since.
3. Nothing is to leave the house of the first day of the year. If you have presents to deliver on New Year’s Day, or if you are bringing food to someone’s home, leave them in the car overnight. Do not shake the rug or take out the trash as to do so will remove your good fortune.
4. Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky words. Negative terms are not to be uttered. Death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are totally taboo. References to the past year are also avoided, as everything should be turned toward the New Year and a new beginning.
5. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a circle is good luck because it symbolizes coming ‘full circle’ completing a year’s cycle. For that reason the Dutch believe that eating a donut on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune. Others consume round pancakes for that same reason.
6. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Therefore many will eat ham on New Year’s Day. The pig is considered prosperous because the chicken scratches backwards, the cow stands still, yet the hog always roots forward, so those who dine upon the pig on New Year’s Day will be moving forward in the New Year. To dine on chicken or turkey on New Year’s Day will symbolize scratching in the dirt all year for their dinner, thus bringing poverty upon themselves, and since the cow stands still it would symbolize a stagnant year.
7. Eat collard greens or cabbage for money in the New Year. The leaves are considered a sign of prosperity being representative of paper currency.
8. Eat black-eyed peas to bring luck in the New Year. A tradition common to the southern states of the US dictates that eating black-eyed peas will attract wealth, general good luck, and money in particular.
9. Place a penny in a mixture of corn bread batter, then bake the corn bread as usual. The person who gets the piece of corn bread with the penny in it will have extra luck and prosperity all year long.
10. Do not use knives or scissors on New Year’s Day as this may cut away your fortune. On New Year’s Eve my husband will slice the ham and get it ready for baking on New Year’s Day.
11. On New Year’s Day you are not to wash your hair because it would mean you would have washed away good luck for the New Year.
12. Do not do laundry on New Year’s Day as to do so would be to wash away your good fortune. It is also believed that a family member would be washed away (die) in the coming months. The same could be applied to washing dishes. We load the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wait until the next day to wash them.
13. Do not pay loans or loan out any precious goods on New Year’s Day as to do so would mean you will be paying out all year long.
14. Wearing red clothing is preferred on New Year’s Day. Red is considered a bright, happy color, sure to bring the wearer a sunny and bright future. It is believed that appearance and attitude during New Year’s sets the tone for the rest of the year. It is also favored to wear something that symbolizes circles such as polka dots (which resemble coins) to insure good fortune throughout the year ahead.
15. Avoid any arguments on New Year’s Day. To argue on this day will guarantee that you will have arguments all year long.
16. Examine the weather in the early hours of New Year’s Day. If the wind blows from the south, there will be fine weather and prosperous times in the year ahead. If it comes from the north, it will be a year of bad weather. The wind blowing from the east will bring famine and calamities. Strangest of all, if the wind blows from the west, the year will witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish, but will also see the death of a very important person. If no wind at all, a very joyful and prosperous year may be expected by all.
17. Make sure you do something related to your work, and be successful at it, on New Year’s Day, even if you don’t go near your place of employment on that day. Limit your activity to a token amount, though, because to engage in a serious work project on that day is very unlucky.
18. Above all else, remember, whatever you do on New Year’s Day, you will be doing all year long!
Wishing you a wonderful and prosperous New Year!