Forget Kissing, Try These New Year’s Customs!

In many Latin American countries, people tote around an empty suitcase to summon
adventure and travel! /
Photo: Depositphotos

New Year’s Superstitions

By Lucie Winborne

As we all know, New Year’s isn’t just about party hats, champagne, a kiss at midnight and watching a sparkly ball drop in Times Square — it heralds a season of new beginnings. And around the world, folks who want to get things off to a great start have been known to put some interesting practices to work for them. How many of these have you heard of — or tried yourself?

BEFORE YOU PACK THAT TRAVEL BAG

In many Latin American countries, New Year’s merrymakers place an empty suitcase by their front door, drag it in circles around a room or even tote it around the block. Why? In the hopes it will summon adventure and travel!

DON’T FORGET THE BEANO

Feeling uneasy about the current economic climate? You might consider emulating the good folks of Argentina by eating beans just before the clock strikes 12:00 on Dec. 31 … to ensure job security throughout the coming year.

OR PERHAPS YOU’D PREFER PEAS

Down south, you’ll often find families feasting on a New Year’s Day supper of collard greens, pork and black-eyed peas. The latter is credited with bringing good luck, though it’s unclear why. One version traces it to the Civil War, when Union soldiers stole all the enemy’s food supplies with the exception of black-eyed peas, rendering them “lucky”!

WHO NEEDS A DATING SERVICE?

Ladies, if you want your man to put a ring on it in 2019, take a tip from single gals in Belarus, who sit in a circle with individual piles of corn in front of them. A rooster is then set down in the middle of the circle, and the woman whose corn it chooses first will also be the first of the group to wed.

BREAK A DISH, SAVE IT ‘TIL JANUARY

Now chances are good that when you break a dish, you just chuck the remnants into the trash, right? Not so fast! In Denmark the shards are saved till New Year’s Eve, then tossed at the homes of friends and family for good luck. If your aim’s not so hot, you can opt to leave them on the doorstep.

HERE’S ONE WAY TO LOSE THAT UGLY OLD SOFA

And speaking of tossing … residents of Johannesburg, South Africa’s Hillbrow neighborhood ring in the New Year by throwing their old furniture out the window or off a balcony! A word of caution, however: Unsurprisingly, injuries and police visits have been known to result.

(c) 2018 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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