Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Superstitions

Happy New Year! I hope all of you are starting off on the right foot this year! At the very least, I hope you're putting all those tell-tale hangover remedies to good use. Our New Year's Eve was spent at home with the boys, while Preston was working, so we had a relatively quiet NYE. But now, as I'm sure most of you are, we are preparing for a day of going to my parents' house for a yummy feast to help bring in a little (hopefully a lot) of good luck for 2013.

Growing up in a Southern household, with a very superstitious grandmother, I couldn't help but catch a few of the superstitions myself. It was always just known that on New Years you didn't do certain things or ate certain things to ensure a very lucky year. Here are a few of my favorites, a few for your children, and a few that are out there even for me!

When the Clock Strikes Midnight...

  1. Kissing Someone You Love - This is said to ensure affection all year long.
  2. Making Lots of Noise - We make lots of noise at midnight to ward off the Devil and Evil Spirits. It is said he hates loud noise, so that is why we shoot fireworks, shout, "Happy New Year!", and celebrate with family and friends.
  3. Finishing Off That Bottle Of Liquor/Wine - Nursing a colossal hangover this morning? It may not be in vain. It is said to finish off the last dregs of that bottle to ensure a healthy, happy year. 

New Years Foods

I'm sure if you belong to any family you eat some sort of feast on New Year's Day. If you live in a household like mine, you eat certain foods to ensure a great year.

  1. Cornbread - this is a Southern New Years staple. It is said to symbolize gold because of its yellow coloring and is traditionally eaten to symbolize having spending money in the upcoming year. So, if you want spending money, eat some cornbread. My family tends to spruce this up a little bit by making dressing instead of the traditional cornbread.
  2. Black Eyed Peas - This is another Southern staple that is said to symbolize wealth. As we speak my mom has a big pot cooking and although I hate them (cabbage, too) I will eat at least a spoonful to ensure a wealthy year.
  3. Pork - It is said to choose pork on New Year's Day versus chicken or beef because pigs root forward, while chickens scratch backwards and cows stay still! So if you want to go places in 2013, make sure you have a nice helping of bacon, sausage, or even a ham sandwich.
  4. Collard Greens/Cabbage - You are supposed to eat a "helping" of greens to ensure a wealthy New Year. This is something else I detest, but you better believe I will be choking down boiled cabbage when we eat today.
What To and Not To Do On New Year's Day
  1. Do NOT Wash Dishes/Clothes - By doing this you are said to be "washing" someone out of your life and it symbolizes a death in the New Year. This is one I take VERY seriously. Why? The one year I washed clothes on New Years FOUR people close to me passed away. I haven't washed clothes or dishes on New Year's Day since.
  2. Have Cash In Your Wallet - This is said to ensure you will have money in your wallet all year long. There sure are a lot of superstitions with money, aren't there?
  3. Do NOT Pay Bills - It is said you will be spending money on debts all year if you do.
  4. Wear Red - As the Chinese symbol for luck and love, it is said wearing red on New Years will ensure luck and love all year long.

Superstitions for Your Little Ones
If you want to have a little fun with your kids on New Years, here are a couple of superstitions for them:
  1. New Years Day Babies - You get more than a years' supply of diapers if you're the first baby born in the New Year! All babies born today are said to be the luckiest throughout their whole lives.
  2. Jump! Jump! Jump! - It is said that if children jump today, they will grow tall in the upcoming year.
  3. No Crying - It is said crying today will set the tone for the year, so children are not to be spanked or disciplined today. Let's see how many of you can refrain from doing so.
Out There...Or Not?
Lastly, here are a few superstitions that even I find to be a little out there.
  1. First Through The Threshold - It is said that the first through the threshold must be a man, cannot have flat feet, or eyebrows that touch, and cannot be a female, blonde, or red hair. It is said if any of these are the first, it will ensure turmoil in your house. For the Moss household, that rules everyone out.
  2. Washing Your Face With Money - No, really. In some cultures you wash your face with water where coins have been soaking to ensure a wealthy year.
  3. Dancing Around A Tree - If you dance around a tree you are said to ensure your health for the entire year.
So, there you have it! What New Years Day superstitions do you follow/believe? Will you be choking down all of these foods, or will you continue to wash your clothes and pay your bills like today is any other day? As for me and my family, we are sticking to the "better safe than sorry" method.

Either way, from my family to yours, may 2013 be the best year yet for you!

1 comment:

  1. In the Moss family we had many of the same traditions in the food department...cabbage/greens and black-eyed peas and cornbread. If you don't normally like greens, you might try this recipe.

    Saute diced onions (1 medium) in a little olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and cumin (as much or as little as you like. Add a can of Rotel tomatoes and when the mixture starts to bubble, add your washed and stemmed greens (kale, mustard, collard, turnip, etc.)and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Cook on low until the greens are just tender. Got this recipe from the Moosewood cookbook a number of years ago and it remains a favorite.

    These are great with pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes. I like them better than the way my Mom prepared them cause I am not a great fan of salt pork and mushy veggies. I also like the zip of the spices.