My biggest new year’s superstition is that whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re with and wherever you are when you celebrate the new year will be an indication of what the forthcoming will bring you. So you should be doing something you love, be with people you love and in a place you love. Then the rest of the year will be full of happiness and joy.
According to my friend Alisa, you should also wear something new to welcome the New Year. Although the midnight kiss doesn’t seem to be as popular here in Russia, it’s a common tradition/superstition in America. It’s believed that if you kiss your true love at midnight, your love will increase and you will be together throughout the rest of the year. Another tradition my grandmother related to me was to make a lot of noise at midnight. Apparently noise will scare off the devil.
So then I got to thinking about various traditions around the world and what, if anything, they can tell us about a culture. This site lists “15 Strange New Year Superstitions” but doesn’t delve into various countries or origins of the superstitions. Another site mentioned eating black eyed peas as a way to “bring good luck and financial prosperity.” I’ve never heard of this tradition but the site provides an interesting explanation which I don’t fully understand. A different site offers a different explanation: black eyed peas “look like little coins when cooked.” This site also says eating cabbage is good luck because cabbage “leaves can also look like cash.” Another site offers numerous superstitions as well. Lastly, this site provides information on New Year Festivals celebrated around the world.
Although I didn’t uncover any specific cultural information, it’s still interesting to learn about differences in beliefs and traditions. What traditions or superstitions do you believe in? Do you know where they originated? What can they tell us about your culture?