Greeks don’t kid around when it comes to trying to have good luck for the New Year. They have 5 “good luck” traditions!
1. Hide a coin inside a vasilopita (New Years Day bread). The person that finds the coin in their piece of bread will have good luck for the coming year. It is always cut on St. Basil’s Day which is Jan. 1st.
2. The First Step. The most innocent of the household (often a child), takes the first New Year step over the threshold of the home with the right foot first. This is to bless the home with happiness and prosperity for the year.
3. Throw A Pomegranate Right after Midnight, throw a pomegranate which is an ancient symbol of regeneration, fertility and prosperity at the front door. The more seeds that scatter after throwing the fruit, the more good luck the home will have for the coming year. A messy tradition that I won’t be encouraging at our front door!
4. Stepping on a “hairy” stone. It’s actually not “hairy”, but is a stone covered in moss which when stepped on brings good luck to the home. I have some personal friends whom upon reading this for the first time will probably send me their ideas of “hairy” stones to grace our threshold.
5. A Large Onion It is actually a squill bulb hung on the front door on New Year’s Eve. It looks like a huge onion and was believed to good health and luck. I read somewhere that the children were hit over their heads with it the next morning to get up for church. Not sure it this is true, but again, another tradition we will eliminate at our greek home!
Nikos and I will stick to our usual New Year’s toast, some fireworks, cut the vasilopita and I (the most innocent of course), will take the first right step this year. Hopefully that will bring us plenty of good luck for 2018!