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Winter Holidays: Part II- New Year’s Traditions

Last time I wrote about some of the more well known holidays traditions but this time I decided to focus my efforts on the traditions surrounding the New Year.

As most of us know it is the first day in the Gregorian calendar marking the half way point of winter. There are of course the traditions that we all know like the big parties, fireworks, champagne, and of course the countdown but have you ever wondered why we have them? The traditions surrounding New Year’s have always been something that was just done but there are real meanings behind them.

Have you ever wondered why you’re supposed to kiss someone at midnight? It started because of the belief that if you do not partake in the midnight kiss then you will face a year of coldness and lack of affection. There are also specific foods that are said to have an impact on you during the New Year. It’s believed that if you eat Black-Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day that you will have good luck and fortune. Ham hocks, collard greens, and cabbage are also said to bring good luck. There are also foods to avoid, like poultry, which is said to bring misfortune. Wearing new clothes, specifically red, is said to bring a brighter future. What about all the shouting, horn blowing, fireworks and popping champagne bottles? The loud noises are believed to drive away evil spirits.

So as you are planning your New Year’s parties remember to ring in the New Year with all the good luck you can get. I know I’ll be eating  Grandma Maud’s Black Eyed Peas while wearing a red dress, and then at the stroke of midnight I’ll kiss my husband and let my friends do all the shouting. Have a safe and happy holiday!


~Lindsay Sebion

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