Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Superstitions

Since today is New Year's Eve where I come from (that's Portugal by the way...) and many other countries around the globe, I decided to post some of my favourites superstitions, customs and historic facts that surround this mistic night. I hope I don't get any of you readers scared enough to take precautions ;)

Make as much noise as possible at midnight to scare away evil spirits.

Children born on New Year's Day bring great fortune and prosperity to all the household.

Wear something new on January 1 to increase the likelihood of your receiving more new garments during the year to follow.

Kissing at midnight: To ensure that those affections and ties will continue throughout the next twelve months. To not do this would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.

Taken from © OldSuperstitions.Com

In the Philippines children jump up and down at midnight to make sure they will grow tall.

German's drop melted lead into cold water and take turns interpreting the results.

Taken from © ChiFF.Com

Recognition of Jan. 1 as the first day of the new year dates back to 153 B.C. in Rome, when the date was moved from March 1.

The Babylonians are credited with being the first to make New Year's resolutions. Many people still believe the new year is a good time to reflect on mistakes and vow to do better.

In many places, a Polar Bear Plunge has participants testing their mettle by plunging into freezing water on New Year's Day.

Taken from © DelmarvaNow!Com

It was an old Saxon belief that 2nd January was one of the unluckiest days of the whole year. Those unfortunate enough to be born on this day could expect to dies an unpleasant death.

It is said that if you look through a silk handkerchief at the new moon, which has never been washed, the number of moons you see will be the number of years which will pass until you're married. But it is unlucky to see the new moon through a window.

Taken from © Woodlands Junior School

Don't use scissors on New Year's day or you'll "cut" off any fortune that might have been heading your way.

Taken from ©