Out With The Old: New Year’s Traditions and Superstitions

There are many superstitions surrounding the beginning of a new year from around the world! If these traditions are to be believed, what you do at midnight on New Year’s Eve will determine the kind of year you’re going to have.

Do you follow superstitions? You might want to take a look at these to ensure you get off to a lucky start in 2015.

A widespread tradition is that of the first-footer: the first person to come into your house after midnight will determine your year. For good luck, the first-footer should be a tall, dark and handsome man.

Make sure you stock your cupboards with food and have money in your pocket when the New Year arrives to ensure you won’t go hungry and will have money all year.


collards-and-black-eyed-peas
(via Amy Ormond)

What you eat on New Year’s can predict your year, too! Eating black eyed peas and collard greens is said to bring good luck and financial prosperity, while eating pork is good because pigs root forward and not backwards.

In Denmark, some people literally leap into the new year by jumping off chairs at midnight for good luck.

If you pay loans or bills on January 1, superstition has it that you will be paying out money all year long.

In Central and South America, people wear new underwear on New Year’s Eve for good luck. Red underwear supposedly brings love and yellow underwear is said to bring money in the coming year.

Doing laundry on New Year’s Day is said to be unlucky because it will “wash away” a family member in the new year. Some people extend this superstition to dishes, too.


Sheriff
(via The Panama News)

The burning of effigies made to look like public figures, including celebrities, politicians, and popular cartoons, is popular in Ecuador, where the dolls are called año nuevos, and Panama, where they are known as muñecos. This is supposed to represent a new beginning for the new year.

Kissing someone at midnight is said to ensure affection in the coming year.

In Ecuador, some men dress in ridiculous and poorly done drag outfits to represent the past year’s “widow.” They then stop cars on the streets to perform funny dances, and drivers must give the “widows” money in order to continue on the street.


12-grapes
(via A Lovely Life, Indeed)

In Spain and some other parts of the world, people eat 12 grapes at midnight, one with every stroke of the clock.

Nothing is supposed to leave the house on New Year’s Day: not even garbage! People following this tradition make sure that if they are taking something to a party or another location on January 1st, it is already in the car when midnight strikes.

In Finland, people predict the events of the new year by casting molten tin into water and interpreting the shape it hardens in.

Open all the doors and windows of your house to let the old year out while welcoming in the new year and good spirits!


640px-Bratislava_New_Year_Fireworks
(via Wikimedia Commons)

We can’t forget about the fireworks! Making loud noises at midnight is supposed to scare away evil spirits from entering your life. People bang pots and pans, honk car horns, yell, and of course, set off fireworks.

Happy New Year!

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