Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Year's Rules, Rituals, and Beliefs

As a kid my parents always tried to get us to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.  I never really liked them, but we always had to eat at least one pea.  Since 2011 has been a challenging year, a friend and I decided to look up some of the rituals, rules, and beliefs for New Year's to see what we could do to make 2012 a better year.  Here are some of the items we found:

What to Eat
*Black-eyed peas or lentils eaten on New Year's Day bring riches and safety to the coming year.
*Eat 12 grapes, one grape for each month of the year, for prosperity.
*Eating pork on New Year's Day is lucky because pigs eat moving forward.  Therefore, those who eat pork will move forward in the coming year.

What to Wear
*Wear something new on January 1st.  It encourages more new clothing to follow.
*Wear red underwear on New Year's Eve to bring luck.
*Wear red clothing on New Year's Day.

What to Do
*Every door and window should be left open at midnight to let out the old year.
*Make lots of noise at the stroke of midnight.  Evil spirits attempt to come into the brand new year at this time - the noise chases them away.
*Dancing around a tree (especially outside) ensures luck, love, and prosperity.
*Have money in your pocket at the stroke of midnight.
*The pantry should be well stocked.
*Kissing your spouse or significant other at midnight ensures that you will remain intimate with that person.  Not to kiss mean a cold relationship for the year.
*Nothing goes out - not even the garbage.
*No money should be spent (that would be the same as something going out).
*No crying or you will be crying all year.
*No sweeping or dusting or the good luck will be swept out.

Other Superstitions
*Your first-footer (first guest of the year) cannot be a woman, have blonde or red hair, can't be cross-eyed or have a unibrow.  These are all very bad luck.
*Never eat poultry on New Year's Day.  Poultry scratches for their food, so if you eat poultry, you will "scratch" for your food all year long.

Are there any beliefs in your family that you always follow on New Year's Day?

1 comment:

  1. We used to hang a small handkerchief, or baggie of coal, salt and bread. To ensure health, warmth and food the coming year.