Many years ago, a friend of mine told me that she had to get her laundry done that day, when I called her on New Year’s Eve morning and asked what she was up to that day.  She went on to tell me that if her laundry wasn’t all done by New Year’s Day, that she was sure to never be able to catch up all year.  The funny part about that, is that the comment stuck with me, and so yes every year after that, I make sure that all the laundry in the house is done on New Year’s Eve.  (with a family as large as mine, why chance it?)

It got me to thinking, what other traditions do people follow on New Years, and what is the meaning behind them?    I have done a little research and this is what I have found.

  • People eat cabbage to bring wealth in the New Year, as it is said the green tint represents paper money.
  • Some people eat pork and poultry on New Years.  The logic is that as a chicken stands, he scratches backwards and that symbolizes a return to the old.    Pigs will root their noses forward in the mud or ground and that symbolizes moving on to the New Year.
  • Make sure your salt shaker is full on New Year’s Day, so that you will prosper all year long.
  • Lentil beans symbolize coins, which will also bring wealth in the New Year.
  • Having lots of visitors on New Year’s day, people believe will bring good fortune in the New Year.
  • If the 1st visitor to your home on New Year’s Day is a man, expect good luck.
  • Laundry:  I told you about my tradition with laundry.    Others believe that if you do laundry on New Years, you will have hard work ahead that year.    Some also believe that you will “wash” people out of your life if you do laundry on New Year’s Day.
  • Some people believe the weather on New Year’s Day is indicative of the weather you will have that year.  Ex:  If it is windy , it means there will be floods. / if it is breezy, you will have summer rainfall / no wind, means a dry summer.  These particular beliefs regarding weather date back to Babylon times.
  • Noise Makers on New Year’s Eve, was done to drive away “evil spirits” from the New Year
  • Wearing a mask on New Year’s Eve, was to hide your identity from the “evil spirits”
  • Round Cake, people believe the eating a cake shaped in a round circle with rich ingredients symbolizes bringing things full circle
  • Kissing someone at midnight, means you will have a lavish love life that year
  • If you are working out at midnight, you will have a year of fitness
  • Eat 12 grapes, each one represents a month of the year, and will bring you good luck every month

These are the basics of what I have found.   Some of  the above listed, I follow myself and some I had never heard of.   I believe that traditions are a wonderful thing to pass down to our children.  It is what we hold on to , when we lose loved ones.  I think it is important to carry on with them , and hand down generation to generation.    

Each year, I make Corned Beef and Cabbage and a side dish of Black Eyed Peas with Ham.   My dad always made it on New Year’s Day and that of course is why I do it.  I would always call him on that day, no matter if it had been weeks since we talked or where our relationship was.   I would tell him I was making it and we would talk about when I was little and he made it.   I miss those phone calls, as my dad passed away several years back.   This year I will be making the traditional dishes again and thinking of him  

Do you have any other traditions, beliefs or customs that you follow for New Years?  I would love to hear about them in the comments below!!   

Praying that you have a safe and prosperous New Years Eve!!!

One Response so far.

  1. Martha DeMeo says:

    I’ve heard of some of the traditions but you have a very extensive list! Love corn beef and cabbage buy we don’t eat anything special. Happy New Year!

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