SUPERSTITIONS AND CUSTOMS TO ENSURE A GREAT NEW YEAR
Let the old year out. At midnight doors must be opened to allow the old year to leave and the New Year to arrive.
Avoid breaking things. Breaking anything on New Year’s Day indicates wreckage throughout the year.
Sunrise celebrations. New Year’s Day sunrise celebrations and honoring of the ancestors and elders brings good luck for the year (Asia).
Wear white. Wear white clothes on New Year’s Eve for good luck during the year. If in a beach city, after midnight, jump seven waves in the ocean and make a wish while throwing flowers into the sea for good fortune (Brazil).
First footing. The first person to cross the household threshold after midnight will influence good luck during the year. Ideally the first footer should be a tall, dark-haired man carrying with him such objects as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, and salt. He must not be cross-eyed, flat-footed, or have eyebrows that meet in the middle. Blond or redhead male first footers signify bad luck and women first footers mean disaster (Scotland).
Deokguk. Rice Cake Soup (deokguk) and bowing to the elders are New Year’s Day sunrise celebrations (Korea).
Grapes. Eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each month, for a lucky year (Spain and many Latin countries).
Carry a suitcase. Carrying a suitcase around the house on New Year’s Day ensures wishes for travel for the next year will come true (Venezuela).
Bang on doors and walls. Banging on the doors and walls with Christmas bread as the New Year begins chases bad luck away and brings good spirits into the house with promise of bread enough during the year (Ireland).
Chiacchiere. Eating honey drenched balls of dough ensures a sweet year (Italy).
Washing dishes. Washing dishes and doing laundry on New Year’s Day will lead to a death in the family during the year.
Fire. Letting a fire go out on New Year’s Eve is bad luck.
Dusting. Brush out bad luck of the past with the dust before New Year’s Day.
"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne