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Traditions and Superstitions for New Year - always worth a try.

Updated on December 22, 2012

New Year is steeped in tradition and superstition. This is geared toward

the following year being the best one yet. And who'd turn their noses up at that?

Personally I'll try anything.
The general idea is to start the year off as you intend to go on. A good beginning ensures a good year to follow.

Watch Out

Attitude counts. Anything we say and do on New Years Eve - to family, neighbours, friends, enemies, will reflect our lifestyle in the coming year.

Imagine this scenario; you’re the life and soul of the party. You’re charming, adorable, generous, witty, - okay, there’s a good chance 2013 will sizzle.

Alternatively, a grump who complains –the beer is warm, the food is foul, can’t stand all that kissing business - I’m going home to the dog who is better company than this lot. (do I know this person?) Sorry, that’s 365 troubled days ahead for you.

Hold on, there’s more. Much more.

1. Before the new year can be celebrated the bad vibes of the old one must be swept and cleaned away. Literally. I know. Boring. But that's what superstition says. Painting, polishing , sweeping, vacuuming your home ensures you mean business. You are ready for a brand new beginning.

2. Did you borrow anything during the year and sort of forgot to return it? Now is the time to do so, don’t delay. This custom dates back to the early Babylonians who were fanatical about returning borrowed farm equipment before midnight on Dec 31st.. Nowadays, its books, clothes, handbags, money, the lover – hand them all back immediately.

3. Any debts must be paid before midnight. - Oh yeah. What about the mortgage and the overdraft? I suggest paying the installment on time. It confirms we're making an effort.

4. Want to be well heeled in 2013? And enjoy gourmet food? I know. Silly question. The answer is to make sure your cupboards are well stocked on new year’s eve.. And most importantly have some money jingling in your pocket. Real money. Remember, the stuff we used before some bright spark invented plastic.

5. All outstanding business must be concluded before Jan 1st. Otherwise it will drag on throughout the year and never be resolved..

I know all this sounds tough but I assure you, I didn't make the rules.

Blame Janus, the Roman god of doorways. He has two heads to

symbolize the past and future and presides over new beginnings. He's

an old grouch too. Trust me.

Ready or Not

Okay. Everything should be in order. Now to that midnight hour. It's one minute past twelve. Be prepared. Remember, the first person to enter your home is important. He’s bringing in your New Year and representing your future. Yes, I said He. Well, don’t blame me, I didn’t make the rules As for the dark hair- this probably harks back to the days of the Vikings, when a fair haired stranger appearing in the middle of the night probably bore bad news.

I know this is politically incorrect but tradition demands a healthy, wealthy, dark haired, charismatic, male. He must also have perfect feet.. Yep feet. He's the first footer see. The first foot over the doorstep..

On no account must he be cross eyed or have eyebrows that meet in the middle.

Warning. The most unlucky first footer would be a blonde female with flat feet, corns and bad eyesight. ( is this why I’m banned from the ushering in ceremony?)

I admit the choosing of this particular male is causing me some dilemma. With respect to my friends and relatives, no one seems suitable. Anyone know what Hugh Jackman is doing for New Year eve?

Anyway, when he arrives he must be carrying some coal. This must be burned to destroy any evil influences left from the old year. In the absence of a roaring fire, chuck it on the barbie.

He must also bring bread - for life. Well, that's certainly useful. A handful of salt - for hospitality. I can handle that. A sheaf of corn - for fertility. Thanks but no thanks. He also brings a bottle of whisky. At last it's getting interesting.

He wishes everybody a happy new year and kisses all the females. If Hugh Jackman is reading this – why not join us Hugh?

Now it’s all sorted. Wassail away. Enjoy. You've done all the right things - for the moment.

Sorry. There’s More

I should mention New Year's Day has some customs of its own.

When you look out of your window on January 1st the first thing you see can be an omen.

Spotting a guy with his arms full is good luck. Hopefully it's the partner clearing up the debris. That would certainly be good luck.

Seeing a swaggie or a grave digger is not a good idea.

Watch your pets. If an animal is sitting facing your house - luck will be with you. Don't look if it has it's back to you.,

In Germany an old New Year custom was to drop molten lead into cold water. The shape it indicated suggested the occupation of a girls future husband. You can see why this went out of favour. Anyway, who has time to molt lead?

The Swiss would eat whipped cream letting some drop on the floor to signify plenty. And, assuring carpet cleaners of a prosperous new year.

Well, that's all folks. Hope it works for you. Fingers crossed. And Happy New Year.


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    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      aesta1 - Hi and thank you, glad I made you smile. Hope the 'He' is someone you approve of. Guess we can just choose someone appropriate!. All best wishes...

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Voted up. Really enjoyed reading your hub. You made me laugh but am seriously on the look out now for this He to be the first to come in our place.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Interesting traditions like in our place every new year. can't help to follow it sometimes :)

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hello idig - wearing polka dots and jumping a lot seems to me an extremely good and fun way to celebrate a new year. I just might try it. Thanks so much for your comments - Cheers for 2013

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 5 years ago from United States

      Very interesting... I am not aware that there are more superstitions and traditions than just wearing polka dots and jumping a lot (hopefully to grow taller) when the clock strikes the New Year. Voted up and interesting. :)

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hi Anne, lovely to hear from you once again. And I do hope one of your Spanish friends brings in a wonderful 2013. Gosh can it really be? I do like delving into tradition and superstition - a legacy of my mother I believe. Well, you know, Lancashire folk have lots of fun sayings and like to laugh. I hope you have the very best new year - Cheers

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Thanks Michelle - glad you enjoyed - Best wishes for the New Year - hope it's all you wish for...cheers

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Thanks again Valley - I'm not a huge fan of New Year, full of expectations - I do enjoy diving into traditions though. And how things change. Very best wishes for 2013 - and much poetry writing. Cheers

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      CrisSp - Thank you for such positive comments - and yes, anything worth a try. All good fun and interesting to knwo where ideas originate.

      All very best wishes for 2013 - not far away now.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Thanks again Mhatter - all the very best for 2013 - enjoy your work very much. Cheers

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      peachpurple - thanks for your interesting comments - I grew up in England (now in australia) i think these may be traditions from England although probably not adhered to now. Best for 2013

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      alwaysamber - glad you laughed - Best for 2013 - cheers

    • profile image

      alwaysamber 5 years ago

      This made me giggle. Thank you for sharing ! :) Happy New Year to you!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      phdast7 Thanks again for stopping by - this piece was fun to write, I'm fascinated by old the old traditions, some my parents would insist on.Here's to a new year packed with peace and joy.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hi wetnose - thanks for your comments - isn't that interesting about the cabbage. Don't want to miss anything so will give it a try - not my favourite veg though. Cheers

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Maj. This really made me laugh and I am banning all cross eyed men with eyebrows that meet in the middle from my door, not that I know any, I have to say all my Spanish male friends are very good looking , but not likely to be crossing my threashold at midnight on new years eve. I do agree though , that superstitions do have a ring of truth about them somewhere along the line, so this hub will come in very handy. Hope you have a great Christmas Maj and a prosperous and happy 2013 :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Interesting and well-researched, travmaj. Thanks for sharing!! I am passing it on.

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 5 years ago

      A really interesting, and well researched hub...thanks Maj, cheers to you and yours, have a very Merry Christmas:-))

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I find this hilarious, very entertaining! Blame it on Janus! But, yeah harm in trying if it would mean good luck, eh?

      Thanks for the good read travmaj. You have my votes plus sharing.

      Merry Christmas to you!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Happy Holidays to you and thank you for your kind support.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Happy Holidays to you and thank you for your kind support.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i didn't know americans also have the similar new year superstitions as the chinese. We have to abide the same rules as yours. Just a generations practice. Great hub

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      travmag - This was interesting and very entertaining. Thanks. And have a Merry Christmas and a New Year full of a Hugh Jackman look-a-like. :) Blessings!

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

      All interesting. The only thing I heard of New Year's is eating cabbage in some form in the meal - it brings good luck.

      Happy Holidays.