Bringing in the New Year

Looking forwards to a brand new year, and all of the wonderful things that could happen?

Here’s an article I wrote a few years back about world folklore about New Year’s Eve…

“Bringing in the New Year

      By Catherine Kane

(First published 12/29/09 on

Hi folks,

A New Year is on the way, with all the potential for joy, accomplishments and blessings that implies.

It seems like a good time to talk about New Year’s folklore- ways to invite abundance, health, prosperity, joy, growth and lotsa other good things into your life on the New Year. I therefore put on my loremaster cap and searched the world for beliefs to make the coming year a good one for all and sundry.

Some of these beliefs are things that I’ve had personal experience with. Others are things that I haven’t tried yet, but seem to have some intrinsic sense to them.

You’ll find my comments with each belief

In no particular order…

1) Both Ireland and Japan believe in having a thoroughly cleaned house on New Year’s Eve. I found one reference from Ireland that said if you left your dirty dishes to the next day, you’d be lumbered with toil and labor for the year. (Energetically, cleaning opens space for new things to come in, as well as being pleasing to fairies…)

2) In Wales, they open the back door on the first stroke of 12 to let the old year out, and the front door on the last stroke to let the new year in (energetically putting the past behind us)

3) In Scotland, Britain, and other UK countries, the “first footer” is the first person to cross the threshold after the year turns. To bring luck in the coming year, it should be a tall, dark man, preferably bringing gifts of 1 or more of the following  – whiskey, coal, small cakes or a coin; and should be given the hospitality of the house. (A guest bringing symbolic gifts can energetically draw good fortune)

4) In the southern US, eating black-eyed peas, particularly in a dish called “Hoppin’ John” is believed to bring abundance in the coming year. (This started during the Civil War, when food was in short supply, and black-eyed peas could fill you up.) 

5) The noise making common throughout many cultures at New Years was intended to drive evil spirits away. (Sound is often used for breaking up and banishing negative energy)

6) In Spain, eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight brings good luck for the next 12 months. (I could do with 12 juicy months in the coming year.)

7) In Poland, touching the floor right foot first when you get out of bed on New Year’s Day brings good luck. (Putting your right foot forward seems to set a good intention).

8) In parts of England, the first water drawn from a well on Jan. 1 is supposed to bring fortune and happiness. (I like this, but I’m not sure why)

9) Wearing new clothes on New Year’s Day is considered lucky and an omen of how the year will go by many Haitians and Londoners.(Symbolic magic, drawing more abundance)

10) Finally, I heard about a Sicilian custom of taking a full set of new coins, and placing them face up on the window sill before 12 to bring good luck as we pass from one year to the next. (Once again symbolic magic, intermixing intention, physical symbols and time)

I hope you have fun on New Year’s. I’d also recommend that you use one or more of these beliefs (or make up your own) to build an intention for a happy, loving, healthy, prosperous, wonderful year to come…

Because we all deserve it…

I’m picking out a new sweater, lining up a first footer and contemplating grapes as you read this

All good things to you- now and in the year to come.


Wishing you health, joy and prosperity (and grapes :)!…) in the year to come.

Catherine Kane


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