-DID YOU KNOW?-
By Tara Yilmaz
Did you know around the world many traditions are said to bring good fortune into the new year? Considering how the year 2020 was a catastrophe and 2021 could be described as an “uphill” battle, learning about lucky foods, charms and traditions from different cultures to usher in a luckier 2022 couldn’t hurt.
Cooking and eating traditional new year foods is the perfect way to kick-start prosperity.
Did you know that for generations, the Germans have been eating sauerkraut and pork on Dec. 31 because they believe it brings good luck? By emigrating stateside this old-world classic delicacy made its way onto American dinner tables.
Did you know eating Hoppin’ John with collard greens is a traditional American Southern classic New Year’s Day cuisine? According to Almanac.com, this dish of black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread is a symbol of good luck and peace for the entire year. Dating back to the 1880s, southerners would make this entrée with bacon or ham and serve it, intending to prophesize wealth. Black-eyed peas represent coins, collard greens constitute cash, and cornbread symbolizes gold. Additionally, it’s customary to count the black-eyed peas on the plate to foretell the amount of luck or wealth that will ensue.
Did you know being selective about the first person who enters your home after the stroke of midnight coincides with Scottish and English folklore? The first person or known as “first footer,” sets the tone for the foreseeable year. Variations in this folklore differ from country to country. The American variation prefers any man to walk through the door, whereas in the North of England, a tall, dark-haired man is seen as more lucky than a man with lighter hair or a woman. In Scotland, the first footer should also be a tall, dark-haired man who is not already in the household when midnight strikes. The practice of “first-footing” is a popular prediction of the fortune to come.
Did you know ringing in the new year with a kiss is supposed to ensure the next 12 months will be filled with an abundance of affection and a healthy love life? Missing out on that fateful kiss could mean the opposite – no affection and a love drought that will leave you pining for smooches. This interesting tradition is borrowed from the English and Scottish “first footer” folklore. This superstition of kissing your beloved prophecies a meaningful relationship with that very first person you kissed in the new year.
Did you know it may be luckier to clean on Dec. 30 than Dec. 31? Some believe it is a good idea to clean house to prepare for the new year, or “out with the old and in with the new.” But choosing to clean house or do laundry on or after New Year’s Eve could risk sweeping or washing away the “good luck coming.”
Did you know having money in your pocket on New Year’s Day may indicate financial opulence for the year? Checks, debit or credit cards won’t result in a bountiful outcome—only cold hard cash. Unpaid debts and loaning money are also frowned upon because it will set the precedent for being broke and losing money all year long.
So, no matter the method, tradition, or folklore, from sumptuous rich meals, welcoming the “first footer” in your home, to smooching the night away with that one special person, choose wisely to bring the greatest luck upon us all in 2022!