New Year’s Superstitions – New Year’s Eve Traditions for Good Luck


Gather ‘round the campfire my children, and let me tell you a tale of the year 2020…

Actually, no. I’m not going to because Halloween is over and I’m not a fan of spooky stories. Anyways, remember way back when on New Year’s Eve we all made a bunch of “lol bye 2019, you trash fire!” jokes and wistfully looked off into the upcoming ~roaring ‘20s 2.0~? Fools! We were fools!

And now we’re still in the middle of an incredibly deadly pandemic and are possibly awaiting a coup after just going through the tumultuous (I’m being generous) 2020 election. So let’s lean in to some grand old superstitions from around the world this year to make 2021 better than 2020. ::nervous laughs forever::

All joking aside, it’s the time to cut ties with anyone who isn’t sparking joy in your life, make sure you aren’t still paying for any subscription services you never use, and replace your makeup brushes because I doubt you washed them in the last decade. If you’re a believer of superstitions, there are plenty of popular traditions from around the world that claim to help bring you good luck and positive energy in the new year. So read on and start visualizing happiness for the months to come. It can’t hurt, right?

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Literally…be born on January 1st.

That’s it. That’s the tea. Congrats on having good luck forever all you, New Year’s Day bbs!

Keep an eye on the weather.

Yes. So, Snopes.com claims that if the wind blows from the south in the wee early hours of New Year’s Day, the next year will bring prosperity. But if it’s coming from the north, gird your loins for a year of bad weather. Meanwhile, wind coming from the east brings…uh, famine and calamities. But wind from the west means the year will “witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish but also see the death of a very important person.” Woof, okay. Anyone remember which way the wind was blowing on January 1st, 2020?

Don’t cry.

No crying on January 1st! I don’t care how hungover you are. But for real, crying on the first day of the new year is thought to set the tone for the next 12 months.

Wake up early on New Year’s Day.

I know, I know. It’s literally the last thing you want to do on January 1st, but a Polish tradition states that waking up early on New Year’s Day means you’ll easily wake up early for the rest of the year—no snoozing those alarms!

Kiss someone at midnight.

I’m guessing you’re already extremely familiar with this superstition, since everyone makes such a big freakin’ deal about it every year. But, apparently, the midnight smooch is more than just an excuse to lock lips. Superstition says that if you kiss someone who gives you goosebumps when the clock hits 12, your love will last all year long.

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Carry an empty suitcase.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to use your passport more often, listen up. In Colombia, people walk around with an empty suitcase on New Year’s Eve, as it’s believed to ensure you’ll travel throughout the next 12 months. How that plays out in a pandemic year is unclear, but hey.

Eat black-eyed peas and collard greens.

Southerners will probably be familiar with this New Year’s Day menu. Eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on the first day of the new year is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity (aka that $$, honey). Honestly, doesn’t sound like a bad combo for your hangover either.

Friends celebrating at New Year's Eve party

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Don’t clean your house.

Looking for an excuse not to tidy up? According to Chinese lore, tidying on New Year’s Day is thought to clean away the good luck you’ve stored up for the new year. Seriously, you’re not supposed to sweep the house or even do your laundry. Finally, a superstition that gives back.

Eat 12 grapes at midnight.

If you’re in Spain for New Year’s this year, don’t be surprised when everyone tosses back a dozen grapes at 12:00 a.m. The midnight snack is supposed to bring good luck for every month of the new year.

Toss some dishes at your neighbor’s house.

This Danish tradition is low-key a popularity contest, as the superstition encourages you to break dishes on the doorsteps of all of your friends and family for good luck. The more doorsteps you have to hit up, the luckier you’ll be. But if you live in America, I’d give your loved ones a heads up before you bring this custom across the pond—they might not, uh, appreciate it otherwise.

Throw furniture out of a window.

In Italy, people toss their belongings—including furniture—out the window (literally) as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1, as it’s thought to help make room for only positive vibes in the new year.

Izumo Soba

Nazra ZahriGetty Images

Snack on some soba at midnight.

In Japan, it’s traditional to eat buckwheat soba noodles at midnight because the long skinny noodles signify prosperity and longevity.

Make sure you *don’t* loan your friends any cash.

People think that loaning money out on New Year’s Eve serves as a preview of what the rest of your year will look like. So if you don’t want to be shelling out cash to your friends all year long, wait until January 2 to lend them a few bucks.

And make sure your wallet is full too.

Full wallet on New Year’s Eve = rolling in the dough all year long. It’s probably not actually an indicator of next year’s wealth, but hey, do you really want to risk it?

Fireworks

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Get loud.

Firecrackers and noisemakers became part of New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world because folklore says the loud sounds will ward off evil spirits. This superstition is cool and all, but it probably won’t work on your neighbors if they want you to turn down your music.

Stock your cupboards.

Tradition says that empty cabinets on New Year’s Day could indicate you’ll struggle in the next 12 months, particularly financially, so hit up the grocery store before everything closes for the holiday just in case.

Pop the door open at midnight.

In the Philippines, people open all the doors and windows in their homes at midnight so the bad vibes clear out and good luck can come inside. Sure, letting a bunch of cold air into your home in the middle of winter might not sound super fun, but just do it for a minute to make the magic work.

Steer clear of lobster and chicken.

As delicious as they are, eating lobster and chicken on January 1 might mess with your luck in the new year. The thinking goes that because chickens have wings, your luck could fly away, and since lobsters walk backward, consuming ’em might hold you back. It sounds a bit kooky but can’t hurt to stick to a vegetarian menu, just in case.

Delicious Roscón de Reyes on the table

Sol de Zuasnabar BrebbiaGetty Images

Eat King Cake when the clock strikes 12.

King Cake is that delicious donut-like dessert famous in New Orleans (or in France, where it’s called galette des rois), and eating it signifies you’re satisfied with the end of the Christmas season and ready for a new year. If you’re lucky enough to get served the slice with a gold coin (or in some cases, a tiny plastic baby) tucked away in the batter, you’ll have an especially wealthy and prosperous new year. In other words, eating this cake could make you lucky. Do it.

Whip out your red underwear.

If you’re hoping 2020 will be a ~spicy~ year for you, make sure to slip on some red panties before heading out for any celebrations. In Latin America, wearing rouge underwear on New Year’s is believed to bring passionate relationships for the next 12 months. It’s up to you if anyone else gets to know you’re wearing them ;).

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