KSNF/KODE — When it comes to superstitions (even the ones that sound ridiculous) wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Even if that means carefully avoiding cracks on the sidewalk and never walking under ladders — some may say it’s not paranoia, it’s just precaution.
On top of those New Year rituals (and superstitions), there are plenty of popular traditions from around the world that might just bring you good luck and positive energy in the new year. From foods you should eat to garments you should wear, 2023 should be in pretty good shape if you sample some of these practices from traditions around the world. Thanks to Cosmopolitan, you can start visualizing all that happiness you’ll be receiving in the months to come.
Step Only With Your Right Foot
Many cultures think that if you step into the New Year leading with your *right* foot, you’ll start it out, well, on the right foot.
Burn A Scarecrow
Not sure if you have any of these lying around, but if you do, throw them in the bonfire (safely… please). In Ecuador, some “burn” any lingering bad vibes from the previous year.
Throw On Some Polka Dots
Got an outfit with a polka-dotted pattern? December 31st is the day to throw it on. In the Philippines, some believe that the dots, which look like coins, will bring wealth, abundance, and success in the new year.
Keep An Eye On The Weather
Allegedly, if the wind blows from the south in the wee early hours of New Year’s Day, the next year will bring prosperity. But if it’s coming from the north, get ready for a year of bad weather. Meanwhile, wind coming from the east brings famine and calamities. If the wind is from the west, the year will “witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish, but also see the death of a very important person.”
Wake Up Early On New Year’s Day
It’s literally the last thing you want to do on January 1st, but a Polish tradition suggests that waking up early on New Year’s Day means you’ll easily wake up early for the rest of the year.
Kiss Someone At Midnight
I’m guessing you’re already familiar with this superstition since everyone makes such a big deal about it every year. But, apparently, the midnight smooch is more than just an excuse to lock lips. Superstition says that if you kiss someone who gives you goosebumps when the clock hits 12, your love will last all year long.
Carry An Empty Suitcase
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to use your passport more often, listen up. In Colombia, some walk around with an empty suitcase on New Year’s Eve, as it’s believed to ensure you’ll travel throughout the next 12 months.
Eat Black-Eyed Peas And Collard Greens
Southerners will probably be familiar with this New Year’s Day menu. Eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on the first day of the new year is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity.
Don’t Clean Your House
Looking for an excuse not to tidy up? According to Chinese lore, tidying on New Year’s Day is thought to clean away the good luck you’ve stored up for the new year.
Eat 12 Grapes At Midnight
If you’re in Spain for New Year’s this year, don’t be surprised when everyone tosses back a dozen grapes at 12 a.m. The midnight snack is supposed to bring good luck for every month of the new year.
Toss Some Dishes At Your Neighbor’s House
This Danish tradition encourages you to break dishes on the doorsteps of all your friends and family for good luck. The more doorsteps you have to hit up, the luckier you’ll be. But if you live in America, I’d give your loved ones a heads-up before you bring this custom across the pond — they might not appreciate it otherwise.
Throw Furniture Out A Window
In Italy, people toss their belongings — including furniture — out the window (literally) as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, as it’s thought to help make room for only positive vibes in the new year.
Snack On Some Soba At Midnight
In Japan, it’s traditional to eat buckwheat soba noodles at midnight because the long, skinny noodles signify prosperity and longevity.
Make Sure You Don’t Loan Your Friends Any Cash
People think that loaning money out on New Year’s Eve serves as a preview of what the rest of your year will look like. So, if you don’t want to be shelling out money to your friends all year long, wait until January 2nd to lend them a few bucks.
Firecrackers and noisemakers became part of New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world because folklore says the loud sounds will ward off evil spirits.
Stock Your Cupboards
Tradition says that empty cabinets on New Year’s Day could indicate you’ll struggle in the next 12 months, particularly financially, so hit up the grocery store before everything closes for the holiday.
Pop The Door Open At Midnight
In the Philippines, some open all the doors and windows in their homes at midnight to clear out the bad vibes and allow good luck to come on in.
Steer Clear Of Lobster And Chicken
As delicious as they are, eating lobster and chicken on January 1st might mess with your luck in the new year. The thinking goes that because chickens have wings, your luck could fly away, and since lobsters walk backward, consuming ’em might hold you back. It sounds a bit kooky but can’t hurt to stick to a vegetarian menu just in case.
Eat King Cake When The Clock Strikes 12
King cake is that delicious doughnut-like dessert famous in New Orleans, and eating it signifies you’re satisfied with the end of the Christmas season and ready for a new year. If you’re lucky enough to get served the slice with a gold coin (or in some cases, a tiny plastic baby) tucked away in the batter, you’ll have an especially wealthy and prosperous new year.
Whip Out Your Red Underwear
If you’re hoping 2023 will be a spicy year for you, make sure to put on red underwear before heading out for any celebrations. In Latin America, wearing red underwear on New Year’s is believed to bring passionate relationships for the next 12 months.