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#338388 - Sat Dec 30 2006 12:27 PM New Year's Superstitions
skunkee Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 16 2003
Posts: 10702
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada  
I grew up in a home with Scottish parents, so we always observed the practice of 'first foot'. The first person to cross your door in the New Year would allegedly determine what kind of year you could look forward to.
Ideally your first foot should be a tall, dark male, preferably a stranger and he should be carrying coal for your fire, bread for your table and drink for your health.
My mother also refused to put a calendar up before the strike of midnight, as this was suppsed to bring bad luck. So the calendar would be hung facing the wall, ready to be flipped when the new year had arrived.
She also believed strongly that you shouldn't start a new year fighting with someone, so all fights and disagreements needs to be resolved before the onset of the new year.

Another superstition we have been known to indulge in (although this one didn't come from my family) is the placing of a quarter (one for each member of the household) on an exterior windowsill. It's to be left there for the year, and is supposed to assure financial stability for the coming year.

Does anyone else have any kind of interesting traditions/superstitions associated with New Years?
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#338389 - Sun Dec 31 2006 02:33 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
lady1 Offline
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Registered: Wed Jun 07 2006
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Not realy but I was wondering how long the quarters stayed on the windowsill before they were lifted?
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#338390 - Sun Dec 31 2006 04:48 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
Santana2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8810
Loc: France
Yep, Skunkee, my mother was a 'first foot' fanatic. Was a tad delicate keeping the neighbours out until the requisite tall, dark and fortune-bearing stranger appeared .

We also were lead to believe that whatever you were doing at midnight on 31 December was a pretty good indication that you were going to spend a goodly part of the following year doing same. (I wonder why so many of my family try to cuddle close to someone special just as midnight approaches )

The only other 'tradition' chez nous was and continues to be the battle to the phone! Between incoming calls from family and friends not with us, and outgoing calls from everyone in the house to their missing friends and family...you can imagine the rush
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#338391 - Sun Dec 31 2006 08:48 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
ablesentinel Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 07 2006
Posts: 412
Loc: Kansas USA   
Many people here in the US eat Black-eyed peas on New Years day to bring luck throughout the new year. (I don't know where that comes from)


Edited by ablesentinel (Sun Dec 31 2006 08:49 AM)
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#338392 - Sun Dec 31 2006 09:09 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
skunkee Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 16 2003
Posts: 10702
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada  
We have always put the quarters on windows in the backyard, so they haven't been lifted yet. They do occassionally get knocked off by weather or by one of the cats though.
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#338393 - Sun Dec 31 2006 09:24 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
ablesentinel Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 07 2006
Posts: 412
Loc: Kansas USA   
Has anyone ever heard of putting the coins into a cake? I've never seen it for myself, but I heard some people put coins and other trinkets (coins meant money, rings meant marriage, etc.) into a cake and it has some significance depending on who finds what regarding their future for that year.

All I can think of is a major chocking hazard. If I choked on a coin, I'd think about getting money too. From the person that served me the cake, in a lawsuit.
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#338394 - Sun Dec 31 2006 11:16 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
JaneMarple Offline
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Registered: Fri Jan 30 2004
Posts: 14484
Loc: North West of England
Our family has always done "first footing" too.No "dark haired gentleman" so I always go out the back door, through the Entry and right back in the front door again. Then back outside to watch the fireworks. But wild weather here today so not much standing outside tonight!
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#338395 - Sun Dec 31 2006 07:07 PM Re: New Year's Superstitions
FLHazeleyed Offline
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Registered: Sun Dec 31 2006
Posts: 14
Loc: Central Florida, USA
I like the Scottish traditions. I think I'll try the quarter thing, being on the 2nd floor of an apartment I think it will be safe until Hurricane season. Does using a bit of super glue count?

I'd also love for a tall dark and handsome stranger to arrive on my doorstep with some goodies can we had flowers to his delivery?

I've heard of the Black-Eyed peas too, they also have cornbread and some kind of greens too. An old saying goes, "Eat peas on New Year's day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year."

As for the trinkets in the cake, that I haven't heard of for New Year. I think that New Orleans area puts that stuff in cookies or other treats for New Year. But Trinkets in a cake is also a long standing bride's maid tradition. It was held before the actual cutting. Trinkets where attached to ribbons and the Bride's maids did a ribbon pull. Each trinket was to represent the kind of man you were going to marry. For sure it was in Victorian age, maybe sooner.

Wel, the fireworks have started. It's only 8pm and just getting very dark. Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year's eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

My tradition is to spend it on the cell phone or on line talk with family and friends from all around the world! That and a few pitchers of margaritas with lots of chips and homemade pico de gallo (salsa).


Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
That's welsh for Happy New Year!
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#338396 - Mon Jan 01 2007 05:20 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
Santana2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8810
Loc: France
The trinkets in the cake is something very common in Ireland for Halloween. We put various items into a fruit bread called a barm brack, each of which is supposed to indicate the fortune of the person who finds the piece. A ring would indicate a romantic liaison looming, a rag would fortell poverty, etc. This site has some extra information.

In France the tradition is to eat a Galette des Rois during the month of January. Originally this 'King's Cake' was eaten for the celebration of the Epiphany - the day when the three magi arrived at the stable in Bethlehem to venerate the baby Jesus. The cake always contains a fève or bean. The bean has nowadays been replaced by highly collectable porcelean figure (like these). The person who gets the fève is crowned king or queen for the day. Coupled with a very tasty puff-pastry, frangipane-filled cake it's a guarantted success.
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#338397 - Mon Jan 01 2007 01:09 PM Re: New Year's Superstitions
lanfranco Offline
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Registered: Sun Aug 28 2005
Posts: 348
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA          
Many people believe that the first words one should say as the clock strikes midnight are "Rabbit, rabbit!" I've no idea where this came from, but invoking a rabbit is supposed to bring good luck in the coming year.

Many years ago, my entire family happened to be together on New Year's Eve, and we all yelled out "Rabbit, rabbit." Unfortunately, the year turned out to be a dud for several of us. We now choose another word each year and engage in a great debate between Christmas and New Year's regarding what it should be.

This time around, we settled on "wombat."

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#338398 - Tue Jan 02 2007 03:16 PM Re: New Year's Superstitions
TabbyTom Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8458
Loc: Hastings Sussex England�UKï¿...
Quote:

Has anyone ever heard of putting the coins into a cake?



In Britain it used to be the custom to put a small silver coin (usually a sixpence) into the Christmas pudding. Whoever got the coin was supposed to have a prosperous New Year. I don’t think it’s done so often nowadays.

In France, on Twelfth Night, they have a cake (galette) with a bean baked into it. It’s supposed to be a fava bean but it’s generally made of plastic or china. Whoever gets the bean is King (or Queen) of the feast and chooses a consort. Their subjects are supposed to show their loyalty by taking a sip from their glasses whenever the King or queen does so (”Le roi boit!”). Strangely, even the staunchest French republicans seem happy to accept this kind of monarchy!

Quote:

Many people believe that the first words one should say as the clock strikes midnight are "Rabbit, rabbit!"



In some parts of Britain this custom applies on the first day of a month. The first words you should say after waking up are “Rabbits” or “White rabbits!” But don’t do it in this town when the fishermen are around: they regard any mention of rabbits as a certain harbinger of bad luck.
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#338399 - Thu Jan 04 2007 09:24 AM Re: New Year's Superstitions
funlover2001 Offline
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Registered: Wed Jan 03 2007
Posts: 55
Loc: Toledo, Ohio United States
I am a competitive emailer. Good to know I guess!
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