New Years Rituals
by Ana L. Palles
Depending upon our part of the world, we each have our own set of traditions to welcome in the New Year.
Some people wear specific colors, or their "lucky" clothing. Some folks attend sunrise services, and some folks spend time reviewing the previous year and the changes they want to make for the coming new one.
Some traditions are cultural. For example, some Europeans eat 12 grapes for each stroke of the clock at midnight. This is in addition to toasting with a glass of bubbly “Sidra,” or hard cider. The grapes represent happiness and abundance for the coming months.
In many groups, the focus is on clearing out the old to make room for the new. Many people spend time doing a thorough cleaning of their home to welcome in the New Year. In some parts of the world, New Year's eve is when old brooms are discarded and a new one purchased. This symbolizes clearing the dust of the old year so it doesn't carry over to the new year.
A similar idea is found in an old tradition from South America of taking the bucket of cleaning water out of the house and splashing it out on the street. This is done to cleanse, not only the dirt, but the negative energies that may have accumulated in the home during the course of the year. It also freshens up the ambiance by clearing the space and prepares us to start anew.
Food is often a big element in many New Years celebrations. All over the world special dishes are prepared for the coming New Year. In the southern areas of the United States, eating a bowl of black eyed peas is considered good luck bringing prosperity for the coming years. Others bake special cakes with coins representing prosperity in the new year.
Another way to welcome the new year is to bless the house with water that has been blessed either by your minister, or blessed by you. Add a few drops of a sacred essential oil. Frankincense, Myrrh, Rose, lemon, or pine are always appropriate. But you can use any oil or fragrance that you are particularly drawn to. Remember that the important thing about blessing is intention.
By far, my favorite tradition is blessing my home and family with a little prayer of gratitude and love. I love welcoming in that sense of angelic grace and light. And remember, a prayer is from the heart, no script required!
So, go ahead and focus on what you want to bring in this coming New Year. Our family ceremonies and rituals are simply ways for us to focus our intention and light on what we would like to attract into our lives. Take the opportunity and really welcome in this new year. Spend a little time with your journal writing down your wishes and dreams. The New Year is a powerful time for us all. Start your own family traditions!