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New Year's Eve dos and don'ts

So many superstitions are associated with the last day of the year that you wouldn’t get anything done if you followed all of them. But we have collected some folk customs and you can take your pick and follow the ones that you like.

You have probably wondered why people throw firecrackers and set off fireworks on New Year's Eve. Our ancestors believed that loud noises and bright lights drive away bad spirits and bad luck. The modern versions of these are firecrackers and flashing mini-rockets, which are a dog owners' nightmare. In the past, in addition to making noise, families opened all the doors at midnight on 31 December to let the old year out, because if it doesn't leave the house, the new year can't come in. 

What to eat on New Year’s Eve

Many beliefs are associated with meals on the last day of the year. It’s common knowledge that this time of year pork is the only meat you should eat because it will dig out good luck, while poultry is off limits because chickens bury things in the ground. So the main course should be roast pork. Other courses should include lentils, rice and millet because lots of little things will bring prosperity in the New Year. During the New Year's Eve dinner, you should also hide a coin under the tablecloth, which is supposed to promote financial security in the coming year. And it should be strudel for dessert, because whoever rolls out the dough will have a long life and happiness. It’s best if you fill the strudel with poppy seeds. Many families baked fortune scones on New Year's Eve, hiding a coin in the middle of the dough. Superstition has it that whoever finds the money will have a prosperous New Year, but it is important that the scones are all eaten before midnight, otherwise it will bring bad luck.

No dustbins and arguments

The good news for housewives is that it is not recommended to do laundry on either 31 December or 1 January, because any good luck they’ve accumulated will also go down the drain. Good luck also goes out with the rubbish, so it is worth emptying the bin on 30 December and then again on 2 January. But if you have time, fill up the flour, sugar and coffee jars because if they are full on 31 December, they will stay full all year round. By the same logic, your wallet – or your bank account – should also be full. It’s not a good idea to argue or fight on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day because there won’t be any peace all year. And if you listen to our ancestors, you will go to bed before midnight because they believed that the dreams of the last day of the year predict the future – of course, only if you remember them when you wake up. All in all, it’s best if you enter 2024 cheerfully, with a richly laid table, with family and friends. This way you can’t go wrong even if you are superstitious.