Everyone has different ways to start the New Year. To start 2020, I did the usual tradition of eating sauerkraut, kielbasa and black-eyed peas. The luck must have run out on this dish along with all of the other traditions I have. I don’t know about you, but 2020 has been by far the worst year. Like the rest of the world, I’m holding out hope 2021 brings better times. I scoured the internet for new ways to bring good luck into the New Year.
-- I found that some have a dish called “Hoppin John,” which is black-eyed peas, pork, and rice. It’s often served with collard greens and cornbread (the greens for money and prosperity and the cornbread representing coins with its golden color.)
-- An interesting tradition is sharing a “Peppermint Pig.” It says in its name what it is: a peppermint candy in the shape of a pig. After dinner each person takes a turn smashing the pig with a special candy hammer. They each take a piece to eat for good fortune in the coming year. These Peppermint Pigs are sold in a store in upstate New York.
-- A tradition in Spain is eating 12 grapes to bring good luck. Each grape represents a month of the year. When the clock strikes midnight, you must simultaneously eat a grape on each chime of the clock. The consequence is misfortune in the New Year if you fail to eat all the grapes by the end of the chimes.
-- Don’t eat chicken on New Year’s Day as your luck could fly away.
-- In Columbia, they carry an empty suitcase and run around the block. This is to inspire travel and adventure in the New Year.
-- Just before midnight, open your doors and windows to let out the old year.
-- Don’t clean your house on New Year’s Day. It’s considered bad luck.
-- No crying! It could set you up for a year of sadness.
-- Make noise! I wondered why we always had noisemakers, whistles and fireworks on New Year’s Eve. I thought it was just to celebrate, but it was originally believed if you make a loud noise it will scare away evil spirits.
No one knows if these “good luck tactics” work but who would it hurt to try them out? Wishing everyone the best in the New Year!