The tree, the cards, the turkey, the pudding – everyone knows about the Christmas traditions, but did you know there are New Year ones too?

First footing

Tradition has it that the first person across your doorstep in the New Year is very important. Known as first footing, this Scottish tradition is also common in the north of England and the Isle of Man. The first person to cross your threshold should be tall and dark – possibly linked to the invasion of the Vikings when a blonde stranger wasn’t particularly welcome. They should also bring a gift such as a coin, bread or a lump of coal!

Open all the doors and windows

Perhaps not so advisable on a dark, cold winter’s night, but the superstition suggests that opening all the doors and windows in your house will let the old year out and the new year in unimpeded.

Have a New Year’s tree

Who said decorated trees are just for Christmas? Why not change your festive decorations for new year themed glitz and glamour and you’ll be ready to countdown to midnight in style!

Ditch the Champagne

Swap the bubbles for Wassail, a traditional English yuletide beverage made from hot mulled cider, ale, or wine and spices. It was traditionally drunk during ‘wassailing’ – a Medieval ritual which took place on the Twelfth Night. We think it would taste just as good on New Year’s Eve.

Sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’

Attributed to the Scottish poet Robert Burns, ‘auld lang syne’ is translated as ‘For the sake of old times’. Traditionally sung at Hogmanay in Scotland, nowadays people all around the world hold hands and sing the song at the stroke of midnight on December 31.

Make your resolution

New year wouldn’t be new year without a well-intentioned resolution. This new year tradition is believed to have been around for thousands of years. The ancient Babylonians, the Romans, and the early Christians all made pledges and offerings at the start of the new year. What will your resolution be this year? We have some suggestions if you need a little inspiration.

Happy New Year! Let us know if you have any special new year traditions. We’d love to hear about them.

Photo by Peng Wei on Unsplash