Good luck for the new year?


Let me  count the ways…

I’ve learned a lot lately while working at the grocery store.  Among the things I’ve learned is a whole plethora of New Year’s traditions, each applied with the hope of good fortune in the coming year.

Now, in my family, it’s always been eating black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year’s day.  I HATE black-eyed peas, but would try to eat at least one.  If I didn’t, I’d double up on my cornbread.

Early in our relationship, my husband took me to an annual open house held by a German couple who were friends of his parents.  There I learned of the German tradition of eating saurkraut and sausage for luck.  No, I didn’t eat the saurkraut, but that sausage was delicious!  Did that mean only half a year of good luck?  Which half, the first or the last?

People bought all sorts of things this past weekend.  Once you see similar items bought by various families, it’s pretty easy to tell there’s another tradition afoot.  Or maybe just one unusual item someone buys.  I had one man purchase one green candle, and he offered the tip that if you burn one green candle on New Year’s Day, that it means money coming the whole year.  I could use that, I thought.  I have green candles at home.  But I volunteered to work an evening shift (ugh, I didn’t like that at all, very boring and slow!)  and forgot all about lighting one of them.

Lots of people bought grapes.  One customer told me that if you eat grapes on New Year’s Eve it brings luck.  Later, I learned it was 12 grapes.  One for each month, I wondered?

Then we had a lot of people buying pork chops.  I thought it was because we had a buy one get one free sale, but I guess it was a combination of that and that, you guessed it, some people consume pork for luck on NYD.  Of course, along with it, saurkraut, sausage, and cabbage sales were up, too.   I didn’t check out one bottle of Beano, though.  Phew.

A lot of fruit passed though the lines, too.  Late in the day I learned that some believe if you have 12 different pieces of fruit in a centerpiece on your dining table that it’s sure to bring luck.

Another lady wanted to change out a five for five ones, because her daughter told her that if you have 27 ones in your purse, and she was short by five…yeah.  It’s lucky, too.

Cleaning products.  Lots of people bought cleaning products.  I thought they wanted to start off the new year all sparkly and with a  clean house.  Well, I guess they did.  But also I heard that the order your house is in on New Year’s Day is the way your life will be the next year.

Uh oh.

Well, I did clean house and it was kinda okay….sorta.  It wasn’t as bad as before, so maybe there’s hope for 2008.

I think I’ll just keep saying my prayers and clinging to my Faith in God, though.  That’s the best thing I can do for my life. 

Oh, one tradition I will be sure to keep is kissing the one I love at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. I figure I’m already lucky there!  Luv ya, Mr. Man!

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3 Comments on “Good luck for the new year?”

  1. Selma says:

    I loved hearing about all of those superstitions. I hadn’t heard of the black-eyed peas one. Wishing you much happiness in 2008!

  2. Rain says:

    This was very entertaining. I love reading about traditions and cultural superstitions. They are plentiful in my Irish heritage so it’s always fun to learn about others. Happy New Year!

  3. Ms. Karen says:

    We spent on New Year’s Eve with my grandparents, both Southerners clear down to their DNA. I was unaware of the blackeyed pea tradition until I was accosted by a spoon-wielding grandmother urging me to “Eat! For luck!”

    Lucky for both of us, I actually LIKE blackeyed peas. Now, I make up my own traditions, one of them being candle-burning. Of course, I burn candles almost all year, so I guess it’s not quite so special.

    Kissing on the stroke of midnight, yeah, we do that. Hugs for the offspring, too. Oh, and we go outside and make some noise, banging on pots and pans, blowing whistles, and hollering, “Happy New Year!”

    And I must not forget that wonderful tradition we have here at the manor. Plumbing problems.

    Honestly, there are some traditions I could happily live without.

    Good post. It’s amazing what you learn from people “just passing through.”


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