New Year’s Rituals

These are the best customs you should not forget if you want to start the coming year, 2020, off on the right foot.

A family celebrating New Year's Eve
New Years Rituals | iSTOCK

New Year’s Eve is shrouded in ancient and captivating superstitions, which make believe that in those special moments, when a cycle ends and a new one begins, wishes are conjured up and energy flows more intensely. Regarding this belief, there are numerous New Year rituals that guarantee happiness, wealth and love.

By performing these rituals on the last night of the year, you can wish for material wealth and prosperity when it comes to your job, business and investments, as well as for love and friendship, and also for more trips. Besides, you can clean your home to protect yourself from evil spirits and increase the joy and well-being of your family.

Whether you are a superstitious person or not, these rituals are also a way to end the current year at peace with yourself, and welcome the coming year 2020 with enthusiasm and hope, generating within yourself positive energy to achieve your dreams.

The best rituals to start the New Year

Eating grapes, wearing red underwear or eating lentils, here you can find the meaning of the most popular and widespread New Year’s Eve traditions, as well as some New Year rituals that are not so well-known, but very surprising.

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1. Eat lentils

Since this is one of the first foods grown by man, lentils are one of the most beloved foods. With their rounded and flattened shape, it soon began to be mistaken for coins. That is why, in ancient Rome, people had the tradition of giving a handful of lentils as a way of wishing prosperity to a loved one.

This tradition has been handed down from generation to generation in the Latin culture and, nowadays, lentils still bring wealth and abundance. Apart from eating grapes and wearing red underwear, for many people, eating lentils is one of the fixed traditions of New Year’s Eve.

2. Place flowers and sweets at the front door

This ritual that ensures love in your home and the arrival of good omens comes from the Feng Shui culture, which emphasizes the distribution of the home and the decorative items as energy channeling elements.

In order to take advantage of these energy powers, you have to place flowers and sweets at your home’s front door, as well as a mirror that reflects the person that arrives. Make sure to open doors and windows at midnight to favor the end of the current year and welcome the new year.

3. Clean your home

Did you know that oranges have many magical properties? They are widely used for good luck, love and money, and they also stimulate your psychic and divination powers. They are also a powerful protective element against bad energies and are often used for cleaning the home.

This is one of the most effective New Year rituals to guarantee the peace, balance and joy in your home and family. On December 30, you have to put water and orange peels in a bucket, and, on the night of December 31, you have to clean the furniture and windows with that water and a white cloth. Put special emphasis on the front door. 

4. A New Year’s ritual to attract money

In order to have a lot of prosperity during the coming year, you can perform one of the most effective rituals, which consists in mixing seven drops of cinnamon oil, seven drops of basil oil, two drops of patchouli essence and two tablespoons of pine oil. Make the mixture on the night of December 31 and start using it on January 1.

Keep the mixture in a vial and rub it on a golden candle with your hands while visualizing money and abundance. Fill your pockets with coins and bills, and light the candle at midnight; this ritual guarantees the saving and multiplying of your wealth.

5. Ring a bell in every corner of your home

This is an ancient tradition. In many countries, the sound of bells is believed to ward off evil spirits. At turning points, like the change of the season and, especially, on New Year’s Eve, those threatening spirits that prowl your home seek the opportunity to enter and be up to their old tricks.

It is advisable to burn sage leaves to clean your home a few hours before the New Year. When the clock strikes midnight, you must ring the bells to ward off the evil spirits of the house.

6. Fill your kitchen cupboards

Most New Year’s rituals are based on the belief that a physical situation that persists during the last moments of the current year and the first seconds of the new one will be reproduced over time. From this belief comes the tradition of having your kitchen cupboards full on New Year’s Eve

On your dining table, for example, apart from some yellow and golden candles, you should place a lot of fruit. But the most effective ritual is to have your kitchen cupboards full, which ensures a year full of wealth.

7. Start off on the right foot

This New Year ritual is a popular superstition based on the belief that stepping with your right foot at the beginning of the New Year makes things go well. It is simply a matter of taking a step with your right foot in the first minutes of the New Year, after twelve o’clock.

The superstition of taking a step with your right foot when you start to do something to be sure that everything will go well comes from Christian eschatology and its belief that the entry to Paradise is on the right path, while the left one descends to Hell. That is why starting off on the left foot represents bad luck.

8. A New Year’s ritual to get married

If you have already found love and you want this year to be the one when you seal your commitment, pay attention to this New Year’s ritual to get married. For this, you need two jade stones, which represent the heart of each member of the couple.

Wrap one of the jade stones in a piece of your partner’s clothing (if it is a piece of underwear, it will be even better) and leave it like that all day long. Then you have to attach it to the other stone with a red ribbon, which symbolizes the union of both of you.

In a vial, mix a drop of cinnamon essence, a teaspoon of honey and seven drops of rose water. Rub a red candle with the mixture and light it on the first Friday of January, letting it to be consumed completely. You have to smear the rest of it behind your ears every time you meet your partner, carrying the stones as a lucky charm.

9. Take a bath using coconut soap

A coconut bath is a ritual to attract luck and love that is very popular in the magic world. In the esoteric world, the coconut has the function to protect and open paths, so a bath with this element creates an effective protective barrier around the aura of the person and provides love and wealth.

In India, the coconut is the symbol of the goddess Sri and, in the tropical countries, it is considered the food of the soul. Help yourself to the magical properties of the coconut by taking a bath with coconut and rose water, and surrounding the bathtub with red and gold candles.

10. Walk around the block with a suitcase

One of the most well-known and curious New Year’s rituals is to run in circles or walk around the block with a suitcase. This is an old tradition that is very common in Latin American countries, such as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. It is supposed to increase the number of your trips in the coming year.

This ritual is performed by those people who like to travel a lot or those who make a living by traveling. According to this belief, walking around with a suitcase at the change of the year, at midnight, increases the number of new trips.

11. Place a Tarot card under your pillow 

Tarot cards are a powerful instrument of divination that possesses significant qualities. An effective New Year ritual is to place under your pillow some Tarot cards that have positive meanings, especially the Sun and the World.

The Sun card represents enlightenment and excellence, and guarantees the fulfillment of everything you decide to do. The World card symbolizes success, luck and achievement when it comes to material things, as well as the overcoming of all the problems related to your soul. Sleeping with them under your pillow on New Year’s Eve makes them release their energy and pass it on to you.

12. A New Year’s ritual for work

If you are not happy with your job or you are unemployed or you have a hard time in your professional life, the night of December 31 is ideal for changes. This is one of the best New Year’s rituals for work.

At twelve o’clock on the last day of the year, you have to light a blue candle (symbol of business and projects) while you imagine the company or sector you want to work in. With great faith, you have to hold in one hand a bill and, in the other, the company’s logo, asking the divinities for the fulfilment of your desires.

Put out the candle with your fingers, and keep the bill and logo in your wallet as an amulet.

13. Write bad things on a paper and burn it

The night of December 31 is the time to ask for good things for the coming year, but many times we forget the most important thing: to put an end to the current year. Like every year, this one has had good things, but also bad moments and mistakes that you want to leave behind and avoid repeating them.

A very effective New Year’s ritual is to write down on a paper the bad things of this year and those that you do not want to be repeated in the future. Burn the paper while reciting a prayer is the way to make amends for your faults and start over with a clean slate.

14. Kiss someone under the mistletoe

Although many believe it comes from the American culture, this increasingly popular and widespread tradition comes from the ancient Celtic religion, which is known as animism. According to their beliefs, mistletoe was a powerful aphrodisiac that ensured fertility and brought peace and love to people. 

Therefore, in the Celtic culture, it was common to hang a mistletoe branch at the entrance, since it was believed to protect the home from catastrophes and ensure the flow of love and peace. That is the origin of the tradition of kissing under a mistletoe branch every time the threshold is crossed.

This old belief has been passed on to our days, and many couples keep the custom of kissing under a mistletoe branch to achieve prosperity and love in the coming year.

15. Offerings to the sea

This ritual comes from Brazil and goes back to the time of the arrival of the African slaves, who worshipped a water deity, an orisha, known as Yemanyá, by jumping seven waves and asking seven wishes at midnight. This curious ritual has been handed down from generation to generation beyond its religious dimension in Brazil.

This Brazilian custom of making offerings to the sea and asking wishes has also become known around the world. So, if you are close to the sea and you have the opportunity to do it, you must express your wishes for the new year summoning all the power of marine nature.

16. Animal-shaped gifts

The ancient shamanic tradition gave animals a totemic power that connected them to the cosmos and transmitted all kinds of energies to human beings. According to this belief, each animal has a function of protection and benefit.

Among the New Year’s rituals, there is the tradition of offering animal-shaped gifts, especially those resembling an elephant, pig or sheep. The elephant represents wealth and luck when it comes to gambling and investments; the pig symbolizes fertility, abundance and sustenance; and the sheep means learning from mistakes and indicates the path of correction.

17. Colored underwear

Esoteric beliefs have always given special power to colors because of their great brightness and vibration. Each color has a corresponding symbol. When it comes to New Year’s rituals, a way to make the most of them is by wearing a piece of underwear of a certain color.

Wearing colored underwear on New Year’s Eve is one of the most well-known rituals and it is done by both men and women. The most used colors are red (symbol of love and passion), gold (bearer of wealth and abundance), and green (color of hope and health). However, there are other colors that can bring good things.

Black attracts adventure and sex. The grey color guarantees stability. White is the color of peace, harmony and well-being. Rose is favorable to love and friendship. Orange means optimism and enthusiasm. Purple helps heal wounds and uplift the spirit. Moreover, the blue color guarantees that projects and businesses will run smoothly.

18. Leave the lights on at home

Welcoming the New Year with the lights on at home has a double meaning. On the one hand, the light symbolizes intellectual and spiritual enlightenment. Therefore, it guarantees good decision-making, optimism and spiritual peace. On the other hand, it attracts material wealth, which is related to brightness and sparkles.

Spending New Year’s Eve with the lights on drives away evil spirits and prevents them from being present in the world of shadows. Besides, by turning the lights on, we invoke angels and good spirits to be with us.

19. Spill a glass after midnight

This is an old tradition linked to superstition. From every glass that is drunk at the end of the year or, at least, the first one of the New Year, a little should be poured out as a symbol of liberation and as an offering to divinity.

In this case, spilling something you are drinking means giving up something that belongs to you as an offering to the divinities and as a token of generosity. We share to live humbly, but we also want wealth; so, in this way, the divinities will return the gesture with happiness and wealth.

20. Eat 12 grapes

This is the New Year’s ritual par excellence: eating 12 grapes during the last 12 seconds of the year. Although it is the most widespread tradition in Latin countries, there are many people who do not know its real meaning.

It is a relatively recent custom, just a couple of centuries old, and it was imported into Spain from France. Apparently, the Spanish bourgeoisie began imitating the French custom of seeing in the New Year by eating grapes and drinking wine; and the ordinary folk began gathering in the squares on New Year’s Eve to mock the customs of the rich people.

Over the years, it became a fixed tradition to welcome the New Year eating 12 grapes for 12 strokes of bells, which are linked to good luck.


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