Before we know it, 2018 will be here. Most of us have traditions for the New Year like making resolutions, creating a vision board or celebrating with loved ones.
While these are worthy traditions, a few years ago I thought it might be time to expand my horizons and increase my chances for the best year yet. I hunkered down during a snowstorm, cup of tea in hand, to research what exactly people all over the world believe makes a bountiful New Year.
Since then, I’ve adopted some of these traditions as a way to kick start a new year. And because I want everyone else to have an equally fabulous 2018, I am sharing the different superstitions and ideas here:
Things to eat:
Grapes: Eat twelve for good luck—one for each month—if you want a tradition that hails from Spain. For a Peruvian twist, eat a thirteenth. Be warned, though. If you taste a sour grape it may mean a rough time for that particular month.
Pomegranate: In some Middle Eastern countries, this fruit is symbolic of fertility and abundance—a positive start for the year.
Cooked Greens: Love the reasoning behind this. Eating foods like collard greens, cabbage or kale will bring you good luck in money because the foods are thought to resemble folded money. The more you eat, the more cash to come your way.
Beans, Peas, Lentils: If you’re not into greens, don’t despair. These foods are thought to resemble coins so eat up for good fortune.
Long Noodles: In Asia long noodles are considered symbolic for living a long life.
Pork or Fish: All over the world people will consume pork on New Year’s Day. Why? Since pigs are believed to be an animal that pushes forward, the symbolism is obvious. If pork is not your thing, eat fish—a long held tradition from centuries ago.
Cornbread: If you want to try a Southern tradition, top off your meal with this sweet bread. Because of its golden color it’s thought to bring good luck in money.
Things to do:
Clothes: Wear a new ensemble and new clothes will keep coming throughout the year.
Underwear: Wear red for good luck in love and yellow for good luck in money (not sure what the rule is on doubling up on both!)
Crying: Don’t do it. Unless you want the tears to keep on flowing all year long.
Doors: At midnight, open all the doors at your house to allow the old year to make its silent exit.
Dancing: Get outside and dance around a tree for a coming year of good health.
Stock up: Keep your refrigerator, cupboards and wallet full if you want abundance in the coming year.
Kiss: A kiss at midnight will ensure you have a love-filled affectionate year.
But if you have no one to kiss….
Husband: Single ladies, legend has it that when you wake up you must look out your window. If you see a man walk by you will be married before the year is through. Just thought I’d mention that.
It may seem like a lot of work, but I’m ready for twelve months filled with health, love, happiness and abundance, so I’m willing to try out a few things if it will increase my chances. Besides, if you do it with family or friends, it makes it fun and festive. The idea of a New Year feels a little less scary when you are equipped with the proper accouterments.
So run out and buy your collard greens, grapes and red undies. Bake cornbread, eat lentils and open your doors at midnight. And don’t forget to grab a loved one and make a toast as the ball drops because emptying out a bottle of liquor is also considered good luck!
Wishing everyone the best year yet. Tell me, what are some of your favorite New Year’s traditions?
A version of this post was originally published on universeletters.com.
Angie Sarhan Salvatore received her M.F.A in Creative Non-Fiction. She currently teaches college writing and designs inspirational jewelry. For more of her work, you can follow her blog, which focuses on infusing more mindfulness and positivity in your day-to-day life. For your daily dose of inspiration, find her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Image courtesy of freestocks.org.