These 10 New Year’s Superstitions Promise Luck Without Leaving Your House

published Dec 27, 2023
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Friends celebrating Christmas or New Year's eve with Bengal lights and champagne.
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The tradition of partying from one year into a brand new one on New Year’s Eve is more than 4,000 years old. Something else that’s been around for many new years: superstitions meant to ward off bad luck or bring only good things into the next year. 

Of course, no one can confirm whether these practices really work. But here are some of the most popular New Year’s superstitions people like to ring in the year with. Because whether you love making New Year’s resolutions or try to stay away from the idea, everyone is probably open to trying to attract a little extra luck in the coming year. 

1. Make Noise at Midnight

From fireworks and popping champagne bottles to banging pots and pans, loud celebrations let you know when the clock hits midnight on Jan. 1. Apparently, that’s to scare away any evil spirits lurking around during the transition from the old year to the new one. 

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2. Throw Away Your Old Calendar 

Contrary to what you might have learned during an old Arthur episode, it’s not illegal to keep an old calendar when the new year comes — but people have been tossing their old calendars for years. In fact, in Los Angeles, it was tradition to throw out paper tear-away calendars from office windows. It was thought that passersby who caught a sheet with their birthday on it would have luck in the new year. For a 2023 version, you can probably just recycle your old calendar sheets and get ready for the year ahead. 

3. Wake Up Early on New Year’s Day

You might think Jan. 1 is the best day to sleep in later than you usually would, but a Polish tradition says otherwise. The belief is that if you wake up early on New Year’s Day, getting up early will be easier for you all year long. So, if you’re a snooze-button fan, this might be one to try!

4. Wash Your Face with Coin Water

What’s coin water, you ask? Well, it’s the water left behind in a bowl in which you just rinsed coins. According to a Slavic tradition, you put change in a bowl of water, remove the coins, and then wash your face with that water (really). It’s supposed to bring wealth and prosperity in the new year. 

5. Run Seven Laps Around Your House

Latin American tradition states that running around the block with a packed suitcase on New Year’s Eve means you’ll travel to lots of new places, but apparently booking it around your house can have the same effect. Pop off your stilettos and slip on your sneakers when the clock strikes 12, just in case a few laps could lead to wonderful adventures. 

6. Don’t Cry on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day

Crying is thought to start the year off on the wrong tone, so you’re not supposed to shed any tears going into the new year. Of course, this doesn’t account for tears of joy! 

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7. Wear and Decorate with Gold 

Swathe your living room and your ensemble in gold to bring good luck with money in the new year. Gold is associated with wealth and royalty, so adding a dash of glittering confetti or shiny earrings could be just the touch you need for the dollars to roll in.

8. Dine on Lentils

Italian tradition contends that lentils, which look like little coins, should be on your New Year’s Eve menu for a prosperous year ahead. You can pair them with pork to add fullness and richness to your life experiences in the new year.

9. Don’t Sweep on New Year’s Day

Get your Swiffering and sweeping done before the new year arrives because ancient Chinese lore says that you could sweep out good luck on Jan. 1. A superstition meant to bring luck and that knocks a chore off your to-do list? Sounds like a win-win. (This is also true for Lunar New Year.)

10. Eat 12 Grapes 

You’ve probably heard of the Latin tradition of eating 12 grapes to bring good luck in the coming year. Each grape represents a month of the new calendar, and you are supposed to eat them at the stroke of midnight to bring prosperity and good fortune in the new year.