Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

As the year comes to an end we look forward to a new one filled with good fortune. Those hopes and expectation about the future are precisely how traditions get started and according to the country you are living in you are ruled by them. But this is a fun tradition. In the South, we have our traditional meals of greens, black-eyed peas, and pork, but around the world, superstitions abound and one of those is the color underwear that you wear on New Year's Day.

Did you know that men in several countries follow an strict color-coded custom to celebrate the New Year? Most of the countries listed here seemed to agree that wearing black is not good (I'm a bit superstitious myself, so I will not be wearing black and follow the advice just in case) and if worn on New Year's Eve will bring bad luck and misfortune in the new year. In Spain with their fondness for eating twelve grapes at midnight, Spaniards wearing tight red underwear to keep you warm and is a symbol of life during the cold months. In Puerto Rico, their tradition is to wear tighty whities to aid fertility and a year of good health.  I love how every country think that they have unlocked some kind of secret connected to their crotches and bulges to improve their luck in the next planetary solar trip around the sun. Brazilians go for bright orange to provide a year of professional success.  In Peru, they wear green underwear inside out to bring positive energy in the new year. They change them back at midnight. Chinese of course have chosen red as it is always a lucky color for the new year. Men from the Philippines are the most eccentric and they prefer polka dots for their underwear as the round shape symbolizes prosperity. Argentinians don pink undies for a better chance in their love life. Bolivians also wear pink to keep friendships strong and if worn backwards, they double your luck in the new year. The men of Columbia no Ecuador wear yellow underwear to inspire a year of happiness and good fortune. In order to have a year of tranquility, Portuguese men sport blue. Like the Spanish and Chinese, Italians wear red but for them, it's for a year of good cheer. If you received the red underwear as a gift the day before, then they provide even more cheer.

Since Spain, Italy, and China all agree that red is the correct color, that's the color I am donning for the day (I even bought a pair as a gift to myself yesterday), though I started the year in a pair of orange underwear in hopes that it will provide a year filled with professional success.

What New Year's superstitions do you follow? Whatever they may or may not be, I hope that 2016 is a good year that will be filled with good memories for all of us. Happy New Year, everyone!


Susan said...

The Happiest of New Years, Joe. May it be the best one yet! <3

Anonymous said...

Just for you, Joe, I put on a pair of dark red briefs this morning. I hope that they give me the good fortune to finish my new book. And I hope that they also help you to have a wonderful 2016.
The Academic

Amanda said...

Happy New Year! It's interesting what other cultures have as beliefs for the new year. I know of the traditional southern meal as we've had it many times before in my family. But , yesterday a coworker told me that you're supposed to put a little money in the greens when cooking to have good fortune. Hadn't heard that one! Enjoy your holiday red undies and all! :)

djc314 said...

Happy New Year Joe. Thanks for keeping up your blog. I always learn something new!

JiEL said...

Happy New Year 2016 and hoping that this one will be filled with Peace, Joy, Happiness and LOVE..

Now in your new life, LOVE is what I really wish you.

Friendly yours from Montréal,(now in snowy Québec city with all my relatives).
(((( HUGS ))))

Michael Dodd said...

Growing up in East Texas, I ate the black-eyed-peas-with-crackling meal many times. In rural areas, small taverns often provided it free for lunch -- assuming, of course, that you would spend money on drinks to wash it down.

I have done the Spanish thing of eating twelve grapes -- one for each stroke of the clock and for each month of the year -- for good luck in the coming year.

I honestly can't recall any correlation between grapes or black-eyed peas and luck, good or bad.

When I was a child, we always burned the Christmas tree (a real cedar tree that we had cut from our own property and that was quite dry by then) on New Year's Eve, invited friends and family to join us and shoot off fireworks. We did that into my teens and then it faded out. I suspect when we kids got old enough to want to go to parties somewhere besides with our parents, it lost its attraction and the older folks were happy to go to bed earlier.

In some monasteries, there was a tradition of celebrating a Mass at midnight for the community. It was not open to the public, but was a low-key celebration just for the friars who wanted to stay up for it.

Happy 2016 to you and all your readers!

Joe said...

Michael, according to what my grandmother always told me: black-eyed peas were for good luck, collard or turnip greens were for wealth/money, and hog jowls were for wisdom. I used to not be a fan of the greens (though I love them now), my grandmother always made us eat at least a spoonful of them.

Amy said...

Joe, I hope your New Year is a better one--and I think red underwear is a fabulous idea for EVERYBODY. You can't feel blue in red underwear ;-)

Lenny Ricci said...

An Italian tradition in our house was to go out in the street at midnight and bang cooking pots with wooden spoons... to ward off evil spirits from coming into the new year and to awaken the newly born to the prosperity of the new year ahead.
Since there were 9 of us kids, there was a whole lot of noise on Mason Drive at midnight.

Hope your new year is full of good things for you.

Lenny from Denver