Do you observe certain traditions and customs?
Do you have New Year's superstitions?
Do you prepare special foods for luck and health?
Or do you just go to bed at your usual time?
As you might know from a previous post, we build a New Year's bonfire in which we burn all the things that are worrying us and those who send their troubles to us to burn.
We stay up late, share music and stories, have lots of food on hand. (You can read all about last year's celebration here.) The kids beat pots and pans to celebrate, the adults sip champagne, and we wake up the quiet night of the ridge with our noise. Far away we can usually hear fireworks and guns going off as neighbors on distant hills celebrate in their own ways.
- I watch for the first-footer too, trying to make sure it's a dark-haired man who leaves through a different door than the one through which he entered. In Scotland, this first-footer should carry in a small lump of coal for the fire--at my house, a log for the wood stove might be more appropriate! (Last year I wrote this post about five ways to celebrate.)
Other things I do to ensure a good year:
Listen up! The first words I hear after the year changes might carry portents for the rest of the year.
- Do things I enjoy on New Year's Day. This often includes touching base with my family and planning the garden with seed catalogs in hand.
- We used to have to work every New Year's Eve and New Year's day. Now it's important to me to be home because it seems to impact how the rest of my year will go. Superstitious? Yeah!
- Spend no money. An old superstition says that nothing should go out, not even dust or the trash. I don't know about that, but not spending on New Year's is another of those precedent-setting things for the coming year.
- There are conflicting world opinions about sweeping on New Year's. Some say you will sweep out your luck, others sweep out the old year's dust. So I sweep if it's needed!
- My mother always said that if you cried on New Year's, you'd cry all year. true? I don't know, but I try not to cry ;-)
As for food:
We always eat cabbage (with wrapped coins mixed in--I think this was a way to get kids to eat cabbage, one of the few vegetables available in winter in the old days, but probably not a favorite with kids then either! My sons were always on the hunt for rthe coins, but the deal was they had to eat all their cabbage to keep the coins. Quarters were the favorite, of course.), The cabbage can be coleslaw, of course, although somehow that seems like cheating.
Black-eyed peas are on the menu, too--my version mixes the peas with Ro-Tell Tomatoes and onions--spicy and good. And ham--yumm!
So share! What are your plans? What will you cook? What will you do or not do to celebrate and to guarantee your good luck?
For more ideas for food and celebration, try these websites:
New Year's Day traditions and superstitions
Parties all over the country!
Food Network's gallery of recipes
How to make Hoppin' John to spice up those black-eyed peas (but I like my version best!)