The New Year is nearly upon us, a time we set aside for ushering out the old and bringing in the new. Throughout history, most cultures have drawn an association between a person’s actions on New Year’s Day and their fate during the year. Here are a few traditions, superstitions and old wives tales to see you through to the new year that are still circulated to this day.
One I have personally followed every New Years Day is
No laundry – The general rule seems to be that laundry shouldn’t be done on January 1, but some traditions go further and say that it shouldn’t be done during the entire period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Myth has it that washing your clothing on these days can actually lead to ‘washing a loved one away’.
Open the doors – Open your doors and windows to let the new year come in and send the old one out! New Year’s Day is about fresh beginnings, so let that fresh air and energy breeze in.
No sweeping – The idea is not to sweep or dust on New Year’s Day, because you could ‘sweep your good luck away’ – so let the dust accumulate, along with your luck.
Dont Cry – Its not a good idea to start your new year crying or feeling sad – it’s said that this sets the tone for the rest of the year.
Noise – It’s a noisy night for good reason: fireworks, bells, whistles and unabashedly loud clamour are said to ward off evil spirits and thoughts. And hanging lemons in doorways is another old-fashioned tradition designed to keep that good energy flowing.
First Kiss – One of the more popular beliefs is that kissing your beloved at the stroke of midnight ensures twelve months of continuing affection. Failing to do so is said to produce the opposite effect.
Comings and Goings – The first person to enter your home after midnight foretells the kind of luck you’ll have in the coming year. A tall, dark, handsome male bearing small gifts is said to bring the best luck. According to this same tradition, no one should leave the house until someone first enters from outside, and nothing should be removed from the house on New Year’s Day.
But Don’t Eat These…
It’s also suggested you should not eat certain things on New Year’s Eve, in order to prevent bad luck for the year ahead, such as lobster and chicken. Since lobsters can move backwards, eating them before the stroke of midnight may cause setbacks.
For chickens, the idea is similar as they can scratch backwards. Other types of winged fowl are also discouraged as your good luck could fly away.