New Year’s Traditions Around the World

happy_new_year_snoopyxxchristopherdrewxxu002639s_happy_new_year_snoopy_and_woodstock_200x286.jpg-540fad0193778e78bba78279c6149c83Happy New Year from ENLAR! As this new year starts, people around the world are embracing the opportunity for a fresh start and celebrating 2014 with customs and superstitions that date back hundreds of years. What are some of the traditions people around the globe practice?
Kissing your honey at midnight and toasting with champagne is a pretty common tradition around the Western world. The midnight kiss is supposed to ensure you bring love and affection into the New Year. Here in the United States, New Year’s is typically a time for making resolutions to quit an old bad habit or start good habits. Folks set goal and make plans for what the hope to do later in the year. It’s also quite common for people to forget or give up the resolution by the end of January but that is a topic for another post! πŸ™‚
In the South, we eat pork on New Year’s Day (NYD) for good luck and some kind of leafy greens and blackeyed peas for wealth. While pork is considered a lucky food in many other countries on NYD, eating chicken is considered bad luck in many European nations. Chickens scratch the ground backward and that is thought to represent looking back to the troubles and misfortunes of the past year or having to scratch around for money in the coming year. Eating other birds of flight is bad luck as well because your good luck for the new year will fly away. In Italy, Spain, Chile and other Latin countries, you should eat twelve grapes at midnight for prosperity and luck. The twelve grapes represent the twelve months of the coming year.
“First Footing” is a tradition in many European countries as well and refers to the first person to enter your home in the new year. A tall, dark and handsome man is the best luck (Yeah, baby!) while a redheaded female is supposed to mean a year of stress.
In the Philippines, children jump up and down at midnight in order to grow taller in the coming year, while in Asia, people hold services to honor the elderly and ancestors to bring luck.
Another popular tradition in many countries is sweeping your house right before midnight cleans out the old bad vibes of the old year and starts the year fresh, but don’t wash clothes or dishes on NYD, or someone in your house will die! (Other traditions just say cleaning or washing on NYD washes away your good luck.) In Iran and Ireland, banging pots and pans at midnight chases away the bad spirits of the old year.
Other traditions I found mention when trolling articles mentioned that it is good luck to change your bed sheets on New Year’s Eve (start the new year fresh). Some people write down wishes for the new year and burn the wishes on NYD to release them and some people believe holding a coin at midnight will bring wealth to the new year.
Now…what color underwear are you wearing? Yellow underwear on NYD attracts positive energy; blue brings good health; green underwear means money; pink means love; and white means peace joy and happiness. In Italy, red undies on NYD equals fertility and luck and then the throw the underwear away on January 2!
What other NYD traditions do you know? Are there any you ascribe to?