Thursday, December 30, 2021

Good Luck Rituals, Traditions, and Superstitions for the New Year

As I look back on the past year and look to the new year, I'm always looking for something that might give me an edge and a leg up to improving life, health, and prosperity in general.  And yes that includes superstitions.  In searching for social media content for my clients, I came across a lot of lists of rituals, traditions, and superstitions, I decided to compile the lists.  While some, and my being a Southern gal, like eating collards, blackeyed peas, and pork on New Year's Day, are standard traditions, some of the others, like throwing dishes at the neighbors' house so they have good luck, is a new one for me.  

So here goes.  I've separated them into New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. If you have any others not listed, let me know and I'll add them to the list.

New Year's Eve -

- Stock your cupboard - Turns out, New Year's Eve is the perfect time to go grocery shopping.  Otherwise, you risk having empty cabinets throughout the year.  

- Buy the right food - While you want food in the pantry and refrigerator, make sure it's not chicken or lobster.  Why, you ask?  Because both of these walks backward.  You want to move ahead in the new year.   

- Avoid Chicken - Legend has it that eating chicken, an animal with wings, on New Year's Eve can cause all your luck to fly away.  

- Clean your house - Any negativity and ill feelings from the previous year will be left behind in the dustpan.  That's because it all gets swept away, and is all about "out with the old, in with the new." 

- Don't Clean your house or do laundry - Yes, this is conflicting with the one above, but I guess it's left up to interpretation.  Some people subscribe to the superstition that deep cleaning and doing things like laundry will cause you to wash away any good luck in the year.  Read own as there are other items that may provide clarification to this one.

- Have Cash in your wallet - Want to experience wealth and prosperity in the coming year?  Make sure you have cash in your wallet before midnight.  If there's no cash in there, you risk a year of misfortune and financial struggles.     

- Leave money outside - A superstition hailing from a couple of different places, like Scotland and Germany, is based on the belief that leaving coins on your window sills and/or entrance to your home (even under the doormat, in one variation) may be able to bring financial stability into your life in the new year.  If you're strapped for cash, don't fret - even one quarter is thought to be enough, and you can bring it back inside after midnight has passed.  

- Wear polka dots - A Filipino tradition, wearing polka dots is believed to signify prosperity because of their round shape.  CNN Philippines says that if you're not into polka dots, anything round will do including sequins. 

- Wear Red Underwear - Those looking for love are advised to wear red underwear as it's thought it will help them find love.   

- If Red is not your color -  Or you're interested in manifesting something else, then read on as your underwear could help in manifesting something else.  For instance, yellow is your go-to for wealth, success, and abundance.   White for peace, harmony, and happiness.  Pink for love and harmony.  Green for life, nature, and overall well-being.  Blue for wellness and good health. Orange for professional success.

- Eat Dried Fruits and Nuts - In Italy, many foods are eaten on New Year's Eve, but one collection, in particular, stands out: seven dried fruits and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts, dates, raisins, and dried figs) are thought to bring good luck when eaten together, according to La Cucina Italiana.    

- Eat Grapes at Midnight - The 12 grapes is a Spanish tradition that consists of eating 12 grapes with the chimes of the clock at midnight.  The catch is, you have to eat all 12 grapes in one minute.  If there are grapes in your mouth by the time the minute is up, you'll have bad luck for the year.  The trick is to peel the grapes before eating them. 

- Eat Herring - Whether you like your herring pickled or fresh, eating it in some form at midnight is considered good luck in Germany and Sweden.

- Eat King Cake at midnight - For many, the dense, doughy king cake associated with New Orleans represents the end of the Christmas season.  But be on the lookout for a golden coin or a plastic baby.  If you find it, your year will be filled with wealth and prosperity, according to legend.    

- Open the Doors and Windows - Don't get stuck in the past.  Open the doors and windows just as the clock strikes 12 to let the new year in and the old year out.  Otherwise, you are stuck repeating last year's mistakes.    

- Give a Kiss - Perhaps the most famous superstition of all, according to English and German folklore, the first person you see in the new year (and how to interact with them) will dictate the year to come.  A kiss symbolizes love, peace, and good luck.   

- Get Loud - Firecrackers, horns, whistles, and other noisemakers not only make midnight shenanigans more fun, but they're also the perfect way to ward off evil spirits from following you into the New Year, according to Chinese folklore.    

- Smash a Pomegraten -  This Greek tradition involves throwing a pomegranate (a symbol of prosperity) at the floor or door at midnight in hopes of getting as many seeds as possible to split - the more seeds, the more luck it's believed you will have in the new year.    

- Toss Dishes - According to Danish tradition, you are to throw dishes at the friends and family houses of whom you wish good luck upon.  The more people you have to visit, the luckier you'll be. 

- Throw furniture out the window -  In Italy, people toss their belongings - including furniture - out the window (literally) as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1, as it's thought to help make room for only positive vibes in the new year.  

- Burn a Scarecrow - If the previous year was filled with bad situations and disappointments, this superstition from Ecuador is for you.  Bundle up and head outside to burn a scarecrow that represents all the bad and scares away the negativity from following you into the new year.   

- Don't loan any money - People think that loaning money out on New Year's Eve serves as a preview of what the rest of your year will look like.  So if you don't want to be shelling out money to your friends for the rest of the year, wait until January 2nd to lend a few bucks.   

- Like to travel? - Run around the block with a packed suitcase - If you've ever spent New Year's Eve in a Latin American country, you know you can see more than a few people carrying a suitcase around the block when midnight comes.  It's worth it since people swear it will ensure lots of travel in the new year!    

- Pack your suitcase right -  It also matters what you pack.  Pack with a destination in mind.  You can just throw stuff in the suitcase, but if you're looking to spend time in a warmer climate, like the beach, don't pack sweaters is all we're saying.  

- Run around the house seven times, fast -  If you don't want to walk around the block - you know, trying to avoid your neighbors thinking you have lost it - running around your room (or home) 7 times is said to bring luck with travel, too.

- Grab a chair, a suitcase, and an umbrella - New Year's Eve is the one time that having an open umbrella inside your house is actually considered good luck  The way the old superstition goes, is that if you stand on a chair with an umbrella open and one hand on a suitcase, you'll increase your chances of traveling over the next year.  It might look weird, but it's worth a try.

- Go in and out your door - Grab your suitcase and walk in and out the front door of your home - this symbolizes the number of times you want to travel throughout the year, so give yourself at least a few minutes.    

New Year's Day - 

- Wake up early on New Year's Day - I know, I know, you've been running around with that packed suitcase all night, but a Polish tradition suggests that waking up early on New Year's Day means you'll easily wake up early for the rest of the year - no snoozing those alarms!   

- Mysterious Guest - The first guest in your home on New Year's Day fills an important role in the coming year.  It is said that that person (sometimes called a "first footer") foretells the kind of luck you can expect during the next 12 months.  The luckiest guest to have is a tall, dark, handsome man who brings you a gift.   Oh, and don't leave the house until someone enters from the outside first.

- The first person to enter your home needs to knock and be admitted - He or she needs to walk through the house and leave by a different door.   And those first in after midnight cannot have flat feet, cross-eyes, or eyebrows that meet in the middle of their forehead.

- Who you don't want crossing the threshold first - A blonde, a redhead, or a female should be barred from coming into your home first.  You should also ban gravediggers, doctors, and cats from the mix. 

- Born on New Year's Day? - Then superstition says you'll automatically be lucky throughout your life - even more so if you're born at midnight!

- Eat Collard Greens and Black-eyed peas - This one was on every list.  What you eat doesn't just play

a big role in your health, it plays a big role in predicting your good fortune in the year ahead, according to this Southern superstition.  So, fill your plate with collard greens and peas for a year full of wealth. And don't forget the cornbread as it represents the coins.

- Add Pork to the menu - In Chinese, the pig is associated with good fortune and prosperity, and according to German legend, pork is lucky because pigs look forward when they eat, representing progress.   

- Eat noodles - Japanese and Chinese superstition dictates that eating long Soba noodles will bring about longevity in the new year.    

- Eat something circular - Eat something in the shape of a circle - think donut - and you will have good luck.  

- Carry an empty suitcase - Those looking for a year full of adventure may want to adhere to the superstition of carrying around an empty suitcase.  Some people walk around with their luggage all day to make sure it happens. 

- Don't wash those clothes -  This is an odd one.  According to folklore, if you wash clothes on New Year's Day, you'll be "washing for the dead" or washing a loved one away -- meaning someone in your household will die in the coming year.  Get your laundry washed, dried, folded, ad put away by New Year's Eve.  

- Don't sweep - Save it until Jan. 2nd.  If you have dust on your floor on New Year's Day, leave it there.  The idea is that you sweep out luck if you sweep on New Year's Day.   

- Keep it in - Don't take anything out of your home on New Year's Day. Literally nothing.  No garbage goes out, no packages are taken to the car or luck will go out and not come back.   

- Save the tears - Save the tears for another day, because crying on New Year's Day could set a year of sadness in motion.   

- Keep an eye on the weather - So allegedly, if the wind blows from the south in the wee early hours of New Year's Day the next year will bring prosperity.  But if it's coming from the north, gird your loins

for a year of bad weather.  Meanwhile, the wind coming from the east brings famine and calamities.  Wind from the west means the year will "witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish but also see the death of a very important person."  So, does anyone remember which way the wind was blowing on January 1, 2020?  

Regardless of what you choose or believe in regards to these superstitions, go into the new year with an open heart and mind to set the tone for the year ahead.  As long as you put in the effort and build consistent good habits throughout the year, you have the potential for endless growth and happiness both personally and professionally.

Wishing You a Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year!

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