New Year’s Luck

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend!  I know I did.  You know what that means though.  A new year is upon us!  It’s hard to believe it’s that time again already.  Time really flies.  Honestly, the older I get, the quicker it seems to go.  2020 was a crazy year and my thinking is someone didn’t eat their black eyed peas! This week, I want to talk about New Year’s superstitions.  We all have some traditions we follow, whether it be eating black eyed peas or kissing at midnight.  Most of us see a New Year as a clean slate, a way to start over and claim the new year will be better than the last.  I am going to explore some popular superstitions you can pick through to start your year off right-if you believe in that sort of thing.

All bills must be paid/mailed off before January 1.  This ensures a debt free year. Placing a piece of money on the doorstep on New Year’s Eve and bringing that money in once the clock strikes will ensure a year of bounty for you.  You should also have cash in your wallet on New Year’s Day.  This will ensure you always have money next year.  Hit the ATM for at least $20, but then don’t spend it until January 2!  Finding money on New Year’s Day is lucky if you spend the money on someone other than yourself.

You should also remove any spoiled food before January.  This will ensure a year full of good meals and good company. However, once you remove that spoiled food, stock up again.  If your cupboards are bare on New Year’s Day, they will stay that way throughout the year.  

Open every door in your home at midnight as this will let out all the bad from the previous year and leaves the door wide open for the good to come in. That’s an easy one to do for a couple minutes.  While the doors are open, sweep from the front door to the back and sweep all the dirt out the back door to get rid of all the bad of the last year, but make sure it’s done before midnight!

Make some noise. This will scare away the evil spirits for the next year. This is why we shoot fireworks and guns and have noise makers to ring in the New Year. 

Kiss someone dear to you at midnight, this will guarantee affection for the next 12 months. If you happen to be alone at midnight, kissing the dog would certainly work.  While you are kissing, though, be sure to wear red underwear and a yellow or green bra. Red underwear is said to bring you a passion filled year and the yellow bra is for financial success!  After kissing, dance the rest of the party.  Dancing on New Year’s Day is said to bring love and prosperity.

The color of your underwear is said to represent different things.  As mentioned above, yellow is for financial gain and red is for passion (and fertility!). Purple represents creativity and inspiration.  Orange is for professional success.  White brings peace and harmony.  Blue is for good health.  Green is for better luck than the previous year.  Pink will bring you new love. Mix and match by adding polka dots for money on any color.  For extra luck make it a brand new, clean pair of underwear.  What color underwear will you put on?

The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight will influence the year you’re about to have. Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen or some salt. Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the household.  The first footer (sometimes called the “Lucky Bird”) should knock and be let in rather than unceremoniously use a key, even if he is one of the householders. After greeting everyone in the house and dropping off whatever small tokens of luck he has brought, he should make his way through the house and leave by a different door than the one through which he entered. No one should leave the premises before the first footer arrives — the first traffic across the threshold must be headed in rather than striking out.  

While we are speaking of firsts, if the first butterfly you see in the new year is white, it will bring you good luck.  What you do in the first hour of the year is supposed to indicate what you will be doing most of throughout the year.  I usually go straight to bed after midnight. Does that mean I will sleep more next year?  Speaking of sleep, sleeping with a horseshoe under your pillow on New Year’s Eve brings good luck all year.  

Lots of the superstitions are related to food.  Throw a pomegranate at your door at midnight like the Greeks.  The amount of seeds that burst out are indicative of fertility for the home.  Pomegranate is seen as a symbol of fertility and birth in Turkey and is eaten instead of thrown on New Year’s Day.  Eat 12 grapes at midnight.  This brings good luck in the New Year.  Of course, one legend says it depends on whether the grapes are sour or sweet.  Sour grapes will give a bad year.  Sweet grapes portend a good year.  And if your grapes are some sour and some sweet, the order you eat them in indicates which months will be bad vs good.  Eat pork.  Pigs root forward when they eat so this is said to keep you looking ahead at all the best things of the year.  And bacon is delicious, so why not?  Smoked sausage specifically is supposed to bring good health.  Eat your black eyed peas. This is said to bring good luck in the year.  Lentils resemble coins and greens such as collard greens, chard, cabbage and kale (the folds of which resemble money) are supposed to bring wealth in the coming year.  Cornbread is supposed to bring spending money.  Really anything golden in color is supposed to represent money, like honey, champagne and some squash.  Noodles symbolize longevity as long as you don’t break them when cooking or eating.  Slurp don’t bite! Place buttered bread on the doorstep before midnight and leave it all day to ensure no one in the home goes hungry all year.  Eating lobster or chicken or turkey are bad luck because they move and scratch backwards respectively and it can cause setbacks! 

The weather of the day has meaning as well, not that we can do much to control that.  Superstition states that if the wind is out of the South there will be prosperous times ahead. The wind out of the East means famine and calamities and out of the North means a bad year for weather. Wind from the West means plenty of milk and fish (how odd is that?). Now, let’s talk about how strong the winds are. No wind indicates a dry summer.  Light winds means a flourishing and joyful year for all.  A decent breeze foretells a good summer rain fall.  Violent winds foretell of flooding.  Current weather reports for us say light northwest winds.  So does that mean lots of milk and honey in a flourishing year with bad weather?!

Nothing goes out of the house, or you will be losing things during the upcoming year. Don’t take out the trash or food or anything, if your trash needs emptying, do it before midnight or on January 2nd. If you have food or anything to take somewhere on New Year’s Day, have it in the car the night before or at their house already.

Don’t cry on New Year’s Day. This brings unhappiness for the next year.  Stay upbeat for goodness sake!  While you are at it, avoid sharp knives and scissors so you don’t cut things out of your life.

Pay attention to the animals and pets on New Year’s Day. A dog’s cheerful bark in the morning is a very good sign, while its howl is the opposite.  Meeting a cat in the morning on New Year’s Day is considered to be a sign you will change residences in the new year.  Seeing a pig on New Year’s Day foretells of a year of abundance.  Seeing a snake, however, is thought to be a very bad omen, as it means you will suffer a death by violence in the coming year.  Seeing a crow is bad as well, as it means you will be cheated in multiple ways.

No cleaning.  They say sweeping ‘sweeps away’ the good fortunes brought to you in the new year.  If you want to sweep, do it before midnight to sweep the ‘bad’ of this year out the door.  Doing dishes washes the luck down the drain. They say washing laundry invites death into the home.  You ‘washed away’ that person! Another belief is that you are washing away a year of good fortune.  Yet one more says washing laundry this day will bring a year of hard work.  Some cultures believe these for the first four days of the year! The dirty clothes can certainly wait until January 2nd.  However, in Latin America, you have to clean so as to clean up the last year.  

BUT you should organize or rearrange your home.  This will lead to a tidy and well organized year.  And while you are working at home, make sure you do something related to your job as well.  Be successful at it and you will have a great year in the workplace.  Don't engage in a serious work project though because that would be unlucky and lead to strife at work.

Don’t break anything! You should try very hard to not break anything as it could lead to a year of broken things and having to spend more money replacing or fixing them.  Unless you are in Denmark, there they save broken dishes and throw them at a neighbor’s house on the first day of a new year as a gesture of good luck.

But you can burn. Kind of.  Burning a newspaper stuffed scarecrow represents getting rid of any of the bad of the past year and scares away the bad for the new year at the same time. 

Wow! That is a lot of superstitions all related to just one day.  Some of them even contradict each other. Whether you are a superstitious person or not, what does it hurt to really try to help yourself in the new year especially with how 2020 went?  Intentional or not, I imagine some of us have done at least some of these things without really knowing there was a reason behind it.  Pick one or two to follow this year and bring yourself some extra luck! This week, I am going to share some recipes that will help you with some of the food related superstitions.  Make your grocery list, meet me in the kitchen and gear up for a good year!

 

Honey Garlic Noodles

16oz fettucine noodles

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

½ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup honey

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

Lemon half

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Meanwhile, in large skillet, sauté the garlic in butter. Stir in the honey, basil and thyme.  Drain pasta and add to garlic mixture and toss to coat.  Plate paste and squeeze fresh lemon half over pasta.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from recipegirl.com

 

Honey Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup sugar

3 tsps. baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In small bowl, beat eggs. Add cream, oil and honey and beat well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter.

Recipe from tasteofhome.com.

 

Black Eyed Pea Casserole

1lb breakfast sausage (I use turkey sausage)

½ cup of onions, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 can green chilies

2 cans black-eyed peas

½ tsp Cajun seasoning, more or less to taste

½ tsp oregano

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup raw rice, cooked (which will make 2 cups of cooked rice)

1 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese, more or less to taste

Preheat oven to 350°f. Brown sausage, onions and peppers in medium skillet until sausage is no longer pink. Add green chilies, Cajun seasoning and oregano and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add black-eyed peas, cooked rice and cream of chicken soup to meat mixture. Put mixture in 2 quart casserole dish. Top with cheese to taste. Cook in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Recipe adapted from southernladycooks.com.

 

Pomegranate Mocktail

12 oz. pomegranate juice

6 oz. orange juice

3 oz. fresh lime juice

12 ounces sparkling water or seltzer

Pomegranate seeds, lime or orange slices, frozen cranberries, fresh mint or fresh rosemary, for garnish if desired

Fill pitcher 1/3-1/2 full with ice. Add pomegranate juice, orange juice and lime juice to pitcher. Stir well to combine.  Pour seltzer/sparkling water over juice mixture right before serving.  Serve in glasses with any desired garnishes! Makes 1 quart. (Try a ginger beer if you want to make it alcoholic!)

Recipe from onelovelylife.com.