Growing up there were certain traditions I was taught about for New Years. Traditions like all others are very important to teach my children, and these are no different. Some of these I do because I was taught to, but I've never known why we do these things.
We always had Reuben sandwiches for lunch on New Years day with sauerkraut, then pork chops and cabbage for dinner. I wasn't sure until recently why we ate the pork and not other foods. Cabbage has something to do with wealth. When we moved down south, they taught me that we had to eat black eyed peas for luck, of course I'm willing to try it, if they do it, and have reasoning behind it.
My family always burns a bayberry candle from before midnight through the night. I know that doesn't sound really safe, but it's put in the middle of the bath tub with the curtain pulled back. I didn't learn until the other day the significance to this. I'm not sure if this is an Italian custom or where it originated. I read some Italians do this, where others have never heard of it. Maybe it varies by region. I do know, it can't be any other scent, it is specifically bayberry.
I always clean real good before New Years. I shred all old papers that I no longer need, I like them out of the house. I also clean out the closets, drawers and toys to donate to Goodwill or other charities. I clean every nook and cranny that I can get to, kind of like spring cleaning. I can't remember if my mom did this, or if I just created this one on my own. My philosophy is that a clean house into the new year, will lead to a clean house throughout the year. I don't know that it actually works, but it makes me feel better.
The last tradition I follow is putting money outside on New Years Eve until the New Year. It is to be placed somewhere where others won't find it. I have an envelope for each of us with a penny, nickle, dime, and quarter in them. I put them in a Ziploc bag, and put it outside. This is supposed to bring wealth.
I'm really not superstitious, but I'm willing to try just about anything for health, wealth, luck and prosperity. While working on this I decided to research what everything actually means and where it came from. There are actually a few new ones I read about and would like to try. I'm not saying any of this works, but I'm not willing to find out otherwise.
Here is a link for the bayberry candles, they can be found around this time of year, but they aren't that easy to find. This place tells the story about them, and sells them.
Here is a link that gives all types of explanations for the different foods, and why they are eaten for New Years in different countries.
Lastly this site has New Years superstitions from all over the world. This is where I found a couple new ones that I'm going to try.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and an amazing New Years. We'll see you back here tomorrow.