Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Superstitions

The website for Merriam-Webster defines a superstition as "a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck."  One of the days that is most likely to have superstitions surrounding it is New Year's Day.  Below, I will list just a few of the popular superstitions for this first day of the year.


It's hard to imagine a quiet New Year's Eve - one without fireworks, noise makers, singing, etc.  In fact, if you've ever experienced a simple New Year's Eve without all the commotion, you know that it's pretty anti-climactic, almost depressing.  But what is with all the ruckus and roar?  As it turns out, all the carrying-on that happens on this night is traditionally done to scare away evil spirits.  So, when the time comes this year, make sure to cause quite the stir - it could help you out immensely in the upcoming months!


Whether it's just a peck on the cheek or the biggest smooch you've ever seen, a kiss is a wonderful way to show someone you care.  And not only that, but if you get one at the stroke of midnight on New Year's, it will ensure that you have plenty affection to last the whole year.  Oh, you say you're alone this year?  As long as you have a pet like a dog, cat or bunny nearby, their mojo will work too.  And if you get desperate, maybe you can kiss yourself while gazing into a mirror?  No one would know!


Every New Year's Eve morning, I set a cup of water next to every major entrance to my house.  Water is one of the four elements and it's a spectacular purifier.  The liquid will also absorb all the negative energy in the area.  When the clock strikes midnight, I briskly toss the water out the door.  By doing this, I banish unwanted energy and start the year off fresh.  However, this practice totally contradicts the next superstition.


Don't take out the trash, don't throw out food, don't take anything out of the house on New Year's Day.  Some people even go so far as to set their pot-luck items outside on New Year's Eve or make sure all items are taken to their destination prior to the first day of the year.  The idea behind this one is that you don't want to be losing things all year long.


Don't do any laundry, don't wash dishes, don't even take a bath/shower.  Believers in this superstition think they will be washing away all their good luck, and may even bring death to a family member in the coming year.  Personally, if I don't wash dishes for a day, they get totally out of hand and that will be all I have time for the next day.  Besides, who wants to go to a party all stinky and smelly?


Some people eat black-eyed peas and greens.  Others eat grapes, pork or lentils.  Whether you eat southern food or something else on New Year's Day, chances are the nourishment you take in represents money or symbolizes forward movement.  While I was growing up, we always ate pork and sauerkraut.  I'm told that as animals, pigs root forward for their food, so if you eat pork, you'll move forward in the coming year and never have to worry about having enough food.  To contrast that, I was also always warned off from eating chicken on New Year's Day.  For this, I was told that chickens pick and scratch for their food.  Who wants to pick and scratch for their food all year long?

So tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'll put my cups of water by the doorways.  At the stroke of midnight, I'll hoot and holler and kiss my hubby, our kids and my cat before I toss the water out of the house.  Then, on New Year's Day, I'll cook the pork roast that is currently sitting in my refrigerator.  What are your plans?


  1. Hi Kristi!

    These New Year superstitions are freaking me out! I know it feels weird if there wasn't any fireworks or anything to celebrate the New Year. But I didn't sleep until 12pm last night, well technically this morning because of the fireworks. (It's 2014 here in NZ!) But however, I heard that in Chinese New Year, people use fireworks to guard off the bad spirits away. It kind of freaks me out, but they say it's true, but I have no clue whatsoever!

    I really love reading your blog posts, can't wait for more in 2014.

    Happy New Year,

    -Edwina, the Writer

    1. Thanks, Edwina! Yes, if a person listened to all of these superstitions, they might not get out of bed the whole day! But there's also a superstition that says you should do at least a little bit of work...but if you work too hard, it won't be a good thing anymore. So many superstitions just for one little day, who knows which one(s) to follow!

  2. WOW - I love this one! I'm especially glad you clarified that you kiss your hubby before you toss the water. Seriously, I was worried about that. (I mean it)
    Wish I read this before New Year's eve, I'll have to make a note to try it next year.

    1. Thanks Mardra! Yes, I love the water superstition/ritual. Ever since I read about it, the idea made perfect sense to me. Water is both a conductor and a purifier, so it just naturally picks up those negative vibrations. Tossing it out the door helps to get rid of that.