While we’re all familiar with some New Year’s Eve traditions, like the infamous midnight kiss or watching the ball drop at Times Square, there are several New Year’s Eve superstitions from around the world that you may not know about. Hoping to shepherd in some good luck in 2022? According to some superstitions, you should avoid washing your clothes on January 1. Planning to manifest love? In some cultures, wearing certain colors (like red) and patterns will do just that. There’s also a smattering of foods that are said to bring in good fortune. In Italy, eating dried fruits and nuts is a popular way to ring in the new year. eating certain dried fruits and nuts to ring in the new year. Whether you’re planning on going out this New Year’s Eve or staying snuggled up at home at midnight, these rituals are all easy to partake in. Here’s hoping they’ll bring you luck in 2022.
You may not be the most superstitious person out there, but there’s no harm in trying. Read on for New Year’s Eve superstitions you’ll want to try out on December 31.
- EAT BLACK-EYED PEAS
Black-eyed peas, also called Hoppin’ John, are a traditional food in the American South with West African roots, according to History. This food is often eaten on special occasions, and was thought to be a good luck charm.
- MAKE A LOT OF NOISE AT MIDNIGHT
This superstition is rooted in the Philippines, and it’s believed by many that making loud noises — with colorful toys or party horns known as torotots — can ward off bad spirits.
- AVOID EATING CHICKEN
If you’re planning out a party menu for the big night, you may want to keep chicken off of it — according to Farmers Almanac, there’s a superstition that because chickens can scratch backwards, eating chicken at the New Year can cause setbacks. It’s also thought that because chickens have wings, your good luck could “fly away” if you eat it at New Year’s. Talk about food for thought.
- DON’T DO LAUNDRY
Planning on washing clothes to start 2022 on the right note? Not so fast. Doing so on New Year’s could potentially “wash away” good fortune according to popular superstitions, or even possibly bring bad luck to a family member. Take it with a grain of salt, but maybe consider scheduling laundry day for the 30th instead.
- EAT A COMBO OF DRIED FRUITS AND NUTS
In Italy, many foods are eaten on New Year’s Eve, but one collection in particular stands out: seven dried fruits and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts, dates, raisins, and dried figs) are thought to bring good luck when eaten together, according to La Cucina Italiana.
- WEAR RED UNDERWEAR
Yes, really. This superstition hails from Mexico and Latin American countries, according to USA Today, and many believe that wearing red underwear on New Year’s may bring love into your life. If red’s not your color, or you’re more interested in manifesting something like wealth instead of love, there are other shades that come with their own New Year’s superstitions, like yellow for wealth and abundance.
- EAT 12 GREEN GRAPES AT MIDNIGHT
Another food superstition, this time originating in 1880s Spain, holds that eating 12 green grapes right at midnight can bring good luck for the new year. According to NPR, the tradition dictates that all 12 must be fully swallowed by midnight, so if you’re thinking about trying this one, it might be time to work on your eating speed.
- STOCK YOUR PANTRY
This custom is thought to ward off bad luck and negativity — empty cupboards can symbolize a year without abundance, so if you’re feeling superstitious, you may want to fill your pantry with (unexpired!) foods.
- EAT SOBA NOODLES
According to CNN, another popular custom in Japan is to eat soba noodles right at midnight, because it’s thought that the long length of the noodles are a symbol of longevity and prosperity. Considering how cold it is outside around New Year’s, a bowl of hot noodle soup might be just what you need, whether it brings you luck or not.
- CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
Much like your cupboards, the state of your home is thought to dictate the path of your year ahead. This Latin American tradition of sweeping away the trash in your house is believed to simultaneously “sweep away” negativity in your life, according to USA Today.
- CARRY A SUITCASE
Okay, so it’s not the most convenient accessory, but one tradition in Colombia involves carrying around a suitcase at midnight to hopefully establish a year of travel and adventure. Of course, the pandemic might have other plans for us in 2022, but it never hurts to hope, right?
- LEAVE MONEY OUTSIDE
A superstition hailing from a couple different places, like Scotland and Germany, is based on the belief that leaving coins on your window sills and/or the entrance to your home (even under the doormat, in one variation) may be able to help bring financial stability into your life in the new year. If you’re strapped for cash, don’t fret — even one quarter is thought to be enough, and you can bring it back inside after midnight has passed.
- WEAR POLKA DOTS
Another Filipino tradition, wearing polka dots is believed to signify prosperity because of their round shape. CNN Philippines says that if you’re not into polka dots, anything round will do, including sequins.
- KISS SOMEONE AT MIDNIGHT
We’ve all heard this one before — according to the New York Times, those who partake in a midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve are thought by many to have 12 months of love ahead.
- SMASH A POMEGRANATE
This Greek tradition involves throwing a pomegranate (a symbol of prosperity) at the floor or door at midnight in the hopes of getting as many seeds as possible to split — the more seeds, the more luck it’s believed you will have in the new year.