New Year's Eve has long been a day for reconciling the previous year, writing resolutions for a fresh start and ringing in midnight with the Times Square ball dropping and a glass of champagne. But for some, New Year's Eve is about doing everything you can to ensure that the upcoming year is as wonderful as possible - whether that means by eating the right foods or wearing the right undergarments.
Since you can never have have too much good luck, Patch rounded up our top five favorite New Year's Eve superstitions. Do you have any of your own? Let us know in the comments!
1) Seafood - Fish is a New Year's Eve favorite around the world. In Italy, they enjoy baccalà (dried salt cod). In Poland and Germany, they down herring at midnight, according to Epicurious - the Germans even go so far as to stick a couple fish scales in their wallet for good luck in the coming year. In Sweden, a seafood salad is a popular dish at New Year's Eve parties. And in Japan, Epicurious notes, it's all about the symbolism on the New Year, with herring roe signifying fertility, shrimp for a long life and dried sardines for ensuring a good harvest.
2) Red Underwear - They always say, 'it's what's underneath that counts.' And on New Year's Eve, that just might be taken literally. While it's unclear exactly how it all began, in some parts of the world (like Italy and some Latin American nations), it's considered good luck to wear red underwear under your clothes on New Year's Eve to ensure passion and love in the coming year, according to the Huffington Post. Got all the passion and love that you can handle? Then wear yellow underwear instead, which is said to bring money and happiness.
3) Clean Your House - In Ireland, according to Irish Central, it's a centuries-old tradition to scrub down your house so you could kick off the next year with a spotlessly clean one. This was said to signify a fresh start and, for some, makes that New Year's Resolution to stay more organized a little easier.
4) Black-Eyed Peas - For many, black-eyed peas isn't just the name of Fergie's pop music group - it's a staple for New Year's Eve. The tradition, according to About.com, began back in the civil war, when General Sherman's troops marched through the Southern states. It's said that the soldiers destroyed all the crops in their pass - but, for some reason, left the black-eyed peas, which quickly became a staple for the confederates. To really ensure that 2013 is a great year for you, the legend states that you must eat 365 black-eyed peas -one for each day of the new year.
5) Grapes - In Spain, they resist tempting fate and down one grape each time the clock strikes at midnight, making twelve grapes total ... in twelve seconds. The idea behind it, according to Food Republic, is that these 'miraculous grapes' will bring twelve lucky months in the new year. Be careful while attempting this one though - there's no worse way to start off the new year than with choking on a grape while trying to beat the clock.