An old Irish tradition:
A Polish tradition from my Grandfather passed on to my mother.
The Polish believe snow on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. On a snowy New Year’s Eve, place two silver dollars outside on the window pane. The following morning, scoop up the money, along with a generous handful of snow. Close your eyes and make a wish. Then run to the bathroom and wash your face in the fresh snow and your wish will come true!
Words of Wisdom from my Irish aunt, Aunt Sis, who has starred in many of my blog posts, was a big one for legends and superstitions. She used to tell us to never eat chicken on New Year’s Day or we’d be scratching all year! This, we learned, was a reference to money. Eating pork is said to fatten the wallet for the coming year!
My Polish aunt
Not a big one for legends or superstitions, but Aunt Mary used to give a piece of straw from her Christmas manger to all her nieces and nephews. She told us to keep it in our wallets and we’d never be broke. Maybe because I’m such a believer in legends and lore, it works for me. But this is the truth. When I’m running low on money and rub the straw between my fingers, I’ve been known to find money, get some unexpected cash or win the lottery. Now, grant it, I’m not talking about any large sum of money that will allow me the luxuries of the world by any stretch of the imagination. But just enough to be a blessing!
Somewhere in Austria
There are said to be Austrian relatives on my mother’s side of the family. Very little is known about them other than my grandmother and aunt spoke of a connection to royalty. There were letters from many years ago. But after my grandmother and aunt passed away, the stories they used to tell us at Christmas and Easter faded and nothing more was ever mentioned. But one thing that stuck in my head is a New Year’s tradition they spoke of. It’s a bit chilling, but since I’m such a big believer in angels,I don’t question it.Pick up the first shiny penny you spot gleaming in the snow in the New Year. Check the date. If it’s either the year of birth or year of death of a loved one, that person is said to be your guardian angel and will watch over you for life.
The Scottish Blessing
The Scottish are big believers in purifying the home for the New Year. This can be done in whatever traditions are passed on from generation to generation in your family. One way is to sprinkle fresh water in each room to kill the germs of the old year. Some local priests come to the homes and sprinkle holy water and bless the home.
Welsh Wishes for Good Luck
I’ve always been drawn to the fresh scent of evergreen in the house at Christmas and saddened when the bristly needles fall off and pine away. With all the legends&g and lore I’m blessed with, bringing a bit of the good earth into the home had to mean something. I recently learned we have some Welsh relatives on my dad’s side of the family. And a Welsh tradition for the New Year is to break off a piece of the fresh pine and sprinkle the branch through the home.
No matter what your traditions are or how you choose to ring in the New Year, Oliver and I wish you health and happiness for 2011. Happy New Year!
I invite you to add your favorite New Year’s tradition to mine. And to sweeten the pot, Oliver is running a contest. On January 31, he will choose his favorite tradition and send you a goodie bag full of his special blend of Chai tea! Good luck! What’s that, Oliver? Sharon chuckles. Oh, all right if you insist, who am I to stop you? So here’s another tradition to add to the list, Oliver’s favorite. According to Celtic legend and lore, the hazelnut has the power to determine whether or not your mate will be true blue. You heard right. What’s in a nut? Fidelity or infidelity? You be the judge!
On New Year’s Eve, in front of a rip roaring fire in the hearth, take a hazelnut and inscribe the name of your lover. Then close your eyes and make a wish and pitch the nut into the flames. If the nut pops out, your mate will run from you and never be true and will break your heart. The nut that burns to ashes will hold a burning desire for all of eternity.
So being a fool for superstition, Oliver has hurriedly inscribed the name of Dominique, his lady love in his book
CHARADE OF HEARTS