The new decade is just around the corner. Are you already thinking about 2020 goals or how you’ll ring in the New Year?
What are New Year’s superstitions?
If you’re looking for some extra luck in the new decade, a few more bucks than you made last year or even love, you may be wondering how to bring these things into your life in the new year.
There are many superstitions surrounding how you should ring in the New Year. Superstitions by definition are beliefs that are irrational or supernatural, and they're generally practiced around matters of luck, love, money and wellbeing. They are not grounded in science but in traditions passed down through cultures around the world.
Playoff beards, lucky pennies and black cats crossing your path are examples of commonly-believed superstitions. Is there any proof that not shaving makes a team win or a black cat crossing your path causes bad luck? Why do we continue to hold onto these superstitions?
If you're looking for a boost to your health and prosperity in the next year, these 15 superstitions will help make sure you have a happy New Year and strong start to the next decade.
15 New Year’s superstitions
1. Kiss at midnight.
It is believed that kissing your beloved at midnight will bring 12 more months of affection. Failing to do so will bring the opposite. Find someone you love and give them a big kiss as the New Year rolls in. If you’re single, kiss a family member or even a pet!
2. Never begin the New Year with unpaid debts.
If you want to stay debt-free, make sure your debts are all paid. While this may be a superstition, it's also very practical — tying up all loose ends, including paying open debts, can help you start the decade with a clean slate.
3. Eat pork and sauerkraut.
In Pennsylvania, the Dutch ate pork and sauerkraut, which was said to bring good luck. This tradition is alive and well today. The pig "roots forward," unlike chickens who "scratch back," and the kraut is made from green cabbage which represents — you guessed it — money. So, if you want to move forward and have money, make sure to have a few bites of pork and kraut on New Year’s Day.
4. Serve black-eyed peas and greens.
Like pork and kraut, this is another combination to eat for a prosperous New Year. In this dish, the peas are said to represent good luck and the greens, money.
5. Don’t take anything out of the house on New Year’s Day.
If you take anything out of the house, you risk losing it. If the trash needs to be emptied, either do it before the clock strikes midnight, or you'll want to wait until January 2nd.
6. Make loud noises.
Loud noises are said to scare away the evil spirits. This is why you’ll see people run outside at midnight to set off fireworks, shoot guns (totally not recommended) or bang on some pots and pans. Hopefully, no one has gone to bed early because the noise could wake the dead!
7. Eat 12 grapes.
In Spain, at midnight revelers eat one for every month of the New Year to ensure a sweet year. If you’re having a large gathering, put out big bowls of grapes to make sure everyone gets 12. You don’t want to short anyone or risk having a friend or loved one not having a full year of sweetness.
8. Watch the wind.
The direction of the wind on New Year’s Day can tell you about what to expect from the year. Winds from the north mean a bad year for weather, south — prosperity, east — famine and calamities and west — plenty of milk and fish.
9. Don’t break anything.
Breaking a mirror is said to be bad luck all year round, and this may be especially true on New Year’s Day. This is a good reason not to wash dishes or clean the house on January 1. Rest, recover and get ready to get back to the grind if you’ve taken some time off for the holidays.
10. Fill the cupboards.
Bare cupboards on New Year's day could mean bare cupboards all year round. Make a grocery run before ringing in the New Year… you know, just in case.
11. Avoid crying.
Crying on New Year’s Day could mean sadness all year. The only exception to this is tears of joy. It’s okay to let those flow.
12. Don’t lend money.
If you lend money on New Year’s Day, you'll be lending out or losing money for the rest of the year. If someone needs to borrow money, they’ll need to wait another day or two.
13. Eat something sweet.
For the Jewish new year, apples and honey symbolize a sweet start. In Italy, people eat sweet fried dough. Some cultures prefer anything round like a sweet bread or doughnut. However you celebrate, make sure you enjoy a delicious treat to ring in the year.
14. The first person to enter your home on New Year’s Day sets the tone for the year.
Ideally, this person will be tall, dark, handsome and bearing a gift! While this may sound like one of the sillier superstitions right out of a women’s magazine, it actually comes from Scottish and Northern English Folklore.
15. Open the doors at midnight.
This is believed to let out all the bad energy of the last year. This one is easy to do in places where it's warm on New Year’s Eve. If it's cold, make sure to bundle up and keep the kids and pets inside where they will be safe and warm.
Whether you believe in superstitions or not, having rituals to usher in the New Year can help you feel ready to tackle whatever 2020 brings. From goals around health and wellness to work or relationships, however you spend the new year should help you rest, recharge, celebrate and get ready to take on the next set of challenges.
What superstitions do you practice to bring into the New Year? Drop them into the comments!