Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Folklore/Supersitions about the New Year

Celebrating New Year’s Day is a time-honored tradition. In ancient Babylon, New Year's Day was celebrated in March which was the beginning of spring. The Romans also noted March as the new year until 46 BC when Julius Caesar designated New Year's Day as January 1st. The idea, it was reported, was to make sure the days were back in touch with the changes that the sun went through. After many changes of the Roman calendar, the days were so out of sync with the sun that order had to be restored. January 1st was also observed by Egyptian and Celtic cultures.

The Babylonians were also credited with the custom of making resolutions on New Year's Eve in order to begin the New Year with a clean slate.

Since then there have been many superstitions and folklore beliefs about how to bring in a prosperous and healthy new year. Here are a few of them:

• Pay off bills and loans so as to not bring debt into the New Year.
• Opening all doors and windows at midnight lets the old year escape.
• Babies born on New Year’s Day are said to have the best luck.
• Kissing at midnight assured affections would continue throughout the year.
• Church bells rung at midnight scare away evil spirits.
• Empty cupboards on New Year’s Eve bring a year of poverty.

If you've got folklore to share, let us know!


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