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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Folklore has interested me since my early college years. Recently, I read an article containing new-to-me folklore. Based on the information in the article, I want to share four New Year’s beliefs or superstitions.

-At midnight, the doors of a house should be opened to let the old year escape. He must leave before the New Year can come in; thus, the doors are opened to assist him in finding his way out.

I have not opened all the doors to my house at midnight to let the old year out. And most years, that could be a pretty chilly task.

-We kiss our significant other at midnight to share the moment of celebration. The kiss also ensures those affections will continue throughout the next twelve months. Failing to kiss our significant other at the stroke of twelve would set the stage for a year of coldness.

I did kiss my late husband at midnight – if we were awake.

-According to folklore, the entire house should be cleaned before New Year's Day and all cleaning material put away. Sweeping should not be done on New Year's Day for fear that good fortune may be swept away. Also, if you sweep dirt over the threshold, you may sweep a family member away. And sweeping the dust of your house by the front entrance could take away good fortune. Nothing should leave the house on the first day of the year. Don't shake out a rug, take out the garbage, or take items outside for recycling.

I had never heard this. This is a great excuse not to clean that day.

-Make sure to do – successfully – something related to your work on the first day of the year even if you don't go to your place of employment. Limit your activity to a token task because engaging in a serious work project on that day is unlucky.

This superstition links our New Year’s Day activities to our success or failure for the year.

The year 2022 is just around the corner. And although the folklore article was entertaining, I will pay no attention to its guidance. May you and yours have a very blessed 2022!


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