[Bonwicke] New Year's Superstitions
Hdec333 at aol.com
Hdec333 at aol.com
Tue Dec 30 20:31:18 PST 2008
New Year's Superstitions:
First Footing: The first person to enter your home after the stroke
Of midnight will influence the year you're about to have. Ideally, he
Should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking, and it would be even better
if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a
bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt. Blonde and redhead first
footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before
they bring disaster down on the household. Aim a gun at them if you have to,
but don't let them near your door before a man crosses the Threshold.
The first footer (sometimes called the "Lucky Bird") should knock and
be let in rather than unceremoniously use a key, even if he is one of
the householders. After greeting those in the house and dropping off
whatever small tokens of luck he has brought with him, he should make
his way through the house and leave by a different door than the one through
which he entered. No one should leave the premises before the first footer
arrives - the first traffic across the threshold must be
headed in rather than striking out.
First footers must not be
cross-eyed or have flat feet or eyebrows that
meet in the middle.
Nothing prevents the cagey householder from stationing a dark-haired
man outside the home just before midnight to ensure the speedy arrival
of a suitable first footer as soon as the chimes sound. If one of the
partygoers is recruited for this purpose, impress upon him the need to
slip out quietly just prior to the witching hour.
Food: A tradition common to the southern states of the USA dictates
that the eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will attract both
general good luck (financial in particular) to the one doing the
dining. Some choose to add other Southern fare (such as ham hocks, collard
greens, or cabbage) to this tradition, but the black-eyed peas are key.
Other "lucky" foods are lentil soup (because lentils supposedly look
like coins), pork (because poultry scratches backwards, a cow stands
still, but a pig roots forward, ergo those who dine upon pork will be
moving forward in the new year), and sauerkraut (probably because it
goes so well with pork).
Another oft-repeated belief holds that one must not eat chicken or
turkey on the first day of the year lest, like the birds in question,
diners fate themselves to scratch in the dirt all year for
dinner (that is, bring poverty upon themselves).
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