Five New Year's Traditions You've Been Missing Out On

By Tammie Jo , last updated November 14, 2011

Everyone knows about making resolutions, kissing someone at midnight for good luck and singing Auld Lang Syne, but is there more to celebrating the beginning of a new year than that? Whether you usually see in the year with diamonds and champagne or pizza and pajamas, trying out one of these fun ideas just may ensure you have the best year ever!

Number One: Paying Off Your Debt
This New Year’s tradition may not sound like a lot of fun, but it may be the best kind of habit to create. Getting all of your bills paid off before the old year ends signals a fresh start to prosperity in the new one. This custom has been around since medieval times when paying off debts, and in some cases, forgiving debts, were common New Year’s practices.
Number Two: Eat Black-Eyed Peas
If you’re from the American Southeast, you already know about this New Year’s Eve tradition, but it’s one the rest of the country may be missing out on. Eating a big plate of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Eve is supposed to bring luck and prosperity, especially when eaten with greens (representing money). It’s not certain where the tradition comes from, but it may be rooted in the Civil War. Black-eyed peas were one of the few crops not destroyed or stolen by Union soldiers as they marched through the South. Having black-eyes peas to eat was considered “lucky.” For the best chances of good luck, eat at least 365 of the legumes, one of each day of the coming year.
Number Three: Drive Out the Bad Spirits
Many cultures around the world practice some tradition of cleansing the home on New Year’s Eve. In addition to getting rid of dirt and clutter, you may also want to drive the bad spirits from your home at midnight. One custom is to walk through your home beating pots and pans together; making enough noise to scare any unwanted negative energy right out of the open doors and windows. If you’re not worried about also scaring the neighbors, walk around the outside of your home in a clockwise motion to chase any lingering baddies off the property, but close the doors and windows first so they don’t sneak back in when you’re not looking.
Number Four: Stay Home
Some people believe it’s bad luck for anything to leave the house on New Year’s Day. The loss of money, people, food or goods from the home on January 1 indicates those items will be hard to keep throughout the year. To be safe, stay home with your loved ones, favorite foods and favorite things for the day.
Number Five: Do Something You Love
“New Year’s Day, so the year” is an old adage that refers to the belief that whatever you spend New Year’s Day doing, you will do often through the rest of the year. Avoid tasks you dislike such as nursing a hangover or apologizing for champagne-induced misdeeds.
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