Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Traditions

The only New Year's tradition I've managed to adhere to is drinking excessively and nursing a hangover the following morning.  Since this is a pretty sad tradition, I decided to research some new traditions* from around the globe to incorporate into our festivities this year.

Eating 12 Grapes at Midnight

As midnight strikes, it is tradition in Spain for people to eat twelve grapes for luck throughout the twelve months.  Some articles suggest that each grape represents a wish for the new year, but that seems like a lot of wishes.  Either way, I spent way too much money on grapes, so we are going to make this happen.

Wearing Red Underwear

Via-finding an appropriate picture for this was harder than you would think

In Italy, people wear red underwear for good luck throughout the new year.  I just got some new ones for free (thank you VS for your coupons) to wear for the occasion. 

Wearing Polka Dots

In the Philippines, people wear clothing with circular patterns, such as polka dots, because they are reminiscent of money and wearing them is said to attract money, good fortune, and enthusiasm in the new year.

Eating Black Eye Peas

Brian actually introduced this tradition to me a few years back when he asked where the black eyed peas were on New Years Day.  I had no idea what he was referring to and assumed it was something he just made up.  After confirming through several internet searches that this was indeed a real Southern tradition, we went to three different stores to find a can of black eyed peas. 

This tradition is said to date back to the Civil War when the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi ran out of food while under attack.  Someone found some black eyed peas to feed the hungry town, and since that time the legume has been considered lucky. 

Eating Pork

Along with the black eye peas tradition, people in the South also eat pork for luck and prosperity.   According to Brian, pork is an expensive meat, so it symbolizes wealth for the new year.  I don't eat pork, so I'll be leaving this tradition up to Brian to fulfill.  I will be avoiding chicken and lobster though, as they are considered bad luck because they both move backward, while pigs and fish always move forward.  Since a new year is a time to move forward, those that move backward should be avoided on the first day of the new year.

What kind of New Year's traditions do you follow?

*Research is a loose term, therefore the validity of these traditions is dubious at best, but


  1. Growing up, we always ate fondue on New Year's Eve. For our first married New Year's celebration this year, we continued the tradition. It's something I can't wait to do with my kids someday.

  2. We actually don't have any traditions! Some of them (sauerkraut is another 'good luck' food) are upheld by our families, but this year, we went to dinner and a movie. Maybe that'll become our tradition?


data:newerPageTitle data:olderPageTitle