New Year's Superstitions
Empty pockets or empty cupboards on New Years Eve portend a year of poverty
If the first person to cross the threshold of a house after midnight on New Years is a dark-haird man and he carries a shovel full of coal, then a year of good luck will follow.
Its bad luck to let a fire go out on New Year's Eve.
You could ensure yourself good fortune by draining the last dregs from a bottle of drink on New Years!
The Weather: If the wind blows from the south, there will be fine weather and prosperous times in the year ahead. If it comes from the north, it will be a year of bad weather. The wind blowing from the east brings famine and calamities. If the wind blows from the west, the year will witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish but will also see the death of a very important person. If there's no wind at all, a joyful and prosperous year may be expected by all.
Loud Noise: Make as much noise as possible at midnight to scare away evil spirits.
Letting the Old Year Out: At midnight, all the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded. He must leave before the New Year can come in, says popular wisdom, so doors are flung open to assist him in finding his way out.
To dance in the open air, especially round a tree, on New Year's Day is declared to ensure luck in love and prosperity and freedom from ill health during the coming twelve months.
Children born on New Year's Day bring great fortune and prosperity to all the household.
On New Year's Day if, on rising, a girl should look out of her bedroom window and see a man passing by, she may reckon to be married before the year is finished.
Clocks should be wound up immediately the New Year begins in order to endow the house with good fortune, while all daily cleaning and dusting should be completed early in the day of December 31 in order to avoid the danger of sweeping good luck from the house.
Breakage: Avoid breaking things on that first day lest wreckage be part of your year. Also, avoid crying on the first day of the year lest that activity set the tone for the next twelve months
Money: Do not pay back loans or lend money or other precious items on New Year's Day. To do so is to guarantee you'll be paying out all year.
New Clothes: Wear something new on January 1 to increase the likelihood of your receiving more new garments during the year to follow.
Work: Make sure to do -- and be successful at -- something related to your work on the first day of the year, even if you don't go near your place of employment that day. Limit your activity to a token amount, though, because to engage in a serious work project on that day is very unlucky.
Black-Eyes Peas: A tradition common to the Southern part of the United States says that the eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will attract both general good luck and money in particular to the one doing the dining
A person who lives alone might place a lucky item or two in a basket that has a string tied to it, and then place the basket just outside the front door before midnight. After midnight, the lone celebrant hauls in his catch, being careful to bring the item across the doorjamb by pulling the string rather than by reaching out to retrieve it and thus breaking the plane of the threshold.
Nothing Goes Out: Nothing -- absolutely nothing, not even garbage -- is to leave the house on the first day of the year. If you have presents to deliver on New Year's Day, leave them in the car overnight. Don't so much as shake out a rug or take the empties to the recycle bin. Some people soften this rule by saying it's okay to remove things from the home on New Year's Day, provided that something else has been brought in first.
Just as the clock strikes twelve the head of the house should open the door in order to allow the Old Year to pass out and the New Year to come in.
Kissing at midnight: To ensure that those affections and ties will continue throughout the next twelve months. To not do this would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.
Stocking Up: The New Year must not be seen in with bare cupboards, lest that be the way of things for the year. Larders must be topped up and plenty of money must be placed in every wallet in the place to guarantee a prosperous year.
Paying Off Bills: The new year should not be begun with the household in debt, so checks should be written and mailed off prior to January 1st. Likewise, personal debts should be settled before the New Year arrives.
First Footing: 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, and 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.
First Footing: The first footer should knock and be let in rather than just using a key. After greeting those in the house and dropping off whatever small tokens of luck he has brought with him, 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.
First footers must not be cross-eyed or have flat feet or eyebrows that meet in the middle
Squint-eyed, flat-footed, or red-haired men bring bad luck If they are first-footers, and so does a woman. But a man with a high instep, or one who comes on a horse, is considered particularly lucky.