Customs in celebration of the New Year take place the world over. Strangely enough in Europe, the New Year was celebrated in the past at different times varying from Christmas to March, and the official celebration on 1st January is comparatively new in the scheme of things. Until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the official New Year in Britain began in March! As far as the common people were concerned however, it has always been celebrated on 1st January.
Many of the customs associated with this turning point combine the elements of death and rebirth. The end of one year and the start of another is a time of both sadness, and great joy. This is replicated by the slow tolling of the bells as the old year meets its end, then the happy pealing of the strong New Year chimes. And of course the singing of Auld Lang Syne! Everywhere in the world, the beginning of the New Year is a time of great rejoicing. Ensure your luck for the year by making sure the first person to enter your house on 1st January is a tall, dark haired male (or so the superstitions go.) This ‘First Foot’, when allowed into the house, should bring with him coal, bread and money to symbolise the basic needs of the household throughout the coming year. In this way, you will never be short of food, money or warmth in the year ahead. Many superstitions associated with New Year tell us that whatever you do on this day will continue to influence events for the next twelve months. For this reason, New Year is seen as the luckiest time to make resolutions because all serious efforts at a time so charged with magic will have the most chances of success.
So, all best wishes to you and yours, and for your hopes and aspirations for 2024