Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How to Have Good Luck in 2017 - or So 'Tis Said ...

Use your own judgement (as always) on following anything in this column.  Happily, nothing offered today is potentially lethal. 

Common advice worldwide - Open every door and window in your dwelling place to let all of the year's bad luck out, but:  do not do laundry or you will wash someone out of your life.   Unfortunately the source quoted here had no ideas on Selective Laundry Expulsion for dirt-bag, crayon-eating slobs who annoyed you in 2016.

In Spain, the big deal is to eat 12 grapes as the clock begins to strike midnight.  The demand for grapes is so strong that a special crop of them is grown to be harvested for this event in mid-December. 

The church bells ring out - TV and radio echo them and all of the phone lines in Spain are busy because everyone is calling everyone else to say, "I'm here (location) - where are you?"

Days 1 to 5 each have an equal place in Asian recognition of the arrival of the New Year.
Day 1 - Eat only vegetables - killing an animal for your dinner "will affect your own longevity."
Don't put out the trash until Day 5 OR sweep the floor because you would be getting rid of good fortune.  Anyhow good housekeepers will have already done that prior to Day 1. 
Stay at home Days 3 and 4 - don't visit friends.  I would assume that waving to friends across the street is acceptable. 

France is famous for 13 desserts at midnight, but spoiler alert - they pad the bill of fare with fresh fruit, nuts and fancy breads - it's not all exquisite patisseries.  Although many people say it should be.

Great Britain is said to celebrate First Footing which sounds like an ancient deal to me as it involves coal fires and ashes and so forth - not central heating.

It begins the minute it is officially January 1st of the New Year.  The homeowners hide behind their front door (this part may be optional) to wait for the knock from the dark-haired stranger bringing gifts of coal (for warmth,) bread (always have food,) money (no explanation needed) and branches of pines or equivalent (for long life.)   I would imagine that by now Chinese manufacturers have come up with an all-in-one toy of some sort that. incorporates all of this.

And while we're thinking of that, probably they've come up with a slick package of mock ashes and/or dust for the stranger to take away.  Theey represent the bad things of the previous year. 

If women are now permitted to be the dark-haired stranger, my apologies, ladies, and NOW, you get the hell away from my front door. 

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