My late mother-in-law was quite superstitious. Every New Year’s Day, she waited by the phone, hoping that the first person to call her would be a man. If a woman called first, the year would be a disaster. She believed the same about people coming to her door, although that was less likely to happen than getting a telephone call. My husband took on the duty of calling her early in the morning, just to set her mind at ease (no matter how late we stayed up). He also called the other people in the family who believed in this tradition, and at a respectable hour, we’d go see them, always making sure I was still messing with the car or something when the door was answered. I’d never heard of this superstition before then, but it appears to be one, or maybe two, of the Victorian New Year customs in a list from Mental Floss.
The New Year is a time not only for for parties, but for omens of how the year ahead will go. Most of the traditions listed are methods for predicting the future, or at least getting a clue as to whether it will be good or bad. But there’s a few that grew out of the party mode, and were dropped because they were more trouble than they were worth. I’m particularly thinking of the ridiculous New Year pie, which you can read about at Mental Floss. -via Strange Company
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