In modern Ireland, New Year’s Eve is the big party night of the festive season. This is when we all clink glasses to ring out the old and ring in the new while singing several verses of Auld Lang Syne. And kiss anyone who will let us. Rather drunkenly, in most cases.
However, in Ireland of long ago, there were many traditions associated with the 31st of December. Will you be taking part in any of these this year?!
1. If a red-haired girl is the first person to walk into your home after the clock has struck twelve, an old superstition says she will bring hardship for the New year. However, if it’s a dark-haired man, you’re in luck. A happy and prosperous year ahead is guaranteed. Better grab a dark-haired man to be ready to walk through that door as soon as the clock strikes! And lock all the redheads in the bathroom!
2. Cleaning the house from top to bottom at the start of the New year, was said to brush away old luck and bring in a fresh start. A new broom sweeps clean, as they say. How do you fancy doing that after several cocktails?
3. Like Samhain on October 31st, departed members of the family would also be remembered on New Year’s Eve with a place set at the table for the supper. Taking it one step further, doors were often left on the latch to make it easy for the ghosts of family members to enter.
4. Banging the walls with bread was meant to get rid of any bad luck held in the house and encourage a plentiful supply of food for the coming year. One way to use up the stale bread!
5. If you are looking for your lifelong partner in New Year, forget the dating sites. Resort to a bit of good old-fashioned magic and pop some mistletoe under your pillow on New Year’s Eve. The person you will marry will come to you in your dreams. Yeah, right.
6. If that dark-haired man enters your front door at the stroke of twelve, he must leave by the back door immediately, to ensure the luck he brings stays in the house. We have no idea how this one works, but anything’s worth a try!
Whether you choose to perform any of these old rituals this year or not, all that remains for us to do is wish all our members, customers, friends and followers a healthy and prosperous New Year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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