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New Year’s superstitions

The coming of a new year signals the breaking out of new calendars.
It also brings about an awakening of people’s superstitions.
I have found though that many people are very superstitious.
Most anyone you talk to can come up with a New Year’s superstition that may mention food, money, visiting or a variety of other subjects.
If there is anything they can possibly ward off bad luck, they will do it, including going far out of the way to avoid walking under a ladder, which seems to be very deadly.
In my years of living among people of the hills, I have run across those whose very lives are guided and regulated by superstition, day after day, and year after year.
There are certain activities that may be participated in, and others that if participated in, bad things are sure to follow.
At the same time, there are good omens, and those of a superstitious nature believe that those who are careful to observe may control their own destiny
There are enough mountain superstitions right here among us to fill a book, yet the majority of people, if they were asked if they were superstitious, would answer in the negative, but, at the same time, if a black cat happens to pass over the path they are walking, they feel as if something terrible will happen.
I even heard a man say that as he was driving to Wytheville one day, a black cat ran across the highway in front of his car.
He said he immediately turned around and returned to Pulaski.
I don’t feel like I am particularly superstitious, but I must admit that I have felt a bit uneasy on several occasions when I got out of the wrong side of the bed.
I have heard of many cases when getting out of the wrong side of the bed has led to great calamity.
You have probably been warned that one should not visit others on New Year’s Day, and, if you should happen to make such a mistake, you must be sure and exit at the same door you entered.
I was told or maybe read somewhere that bad luck would follow if strict adherence to certain traditions was not followed
Among the foods that a person should very definitely have on the dinner table on New Year’s Day are blackeyed peas and hog jowl.
If you don’t follow this rule, you had just as well not celebrate at all.
I have heard that if these two foods are not available, a big bowl of collard greens makes a good substitute.
Personally, I believe we should stay on the safe side and serve all three.
It certainly pays in this case to follow the old saying, “Too much of a good thing is a lot better than not enough.”
I think it is particularly important in these days of high fuel prices, everyone should adhere strictly to the next rule.
“Never carry out ashes on New Year’s Day, because if you do, all of your coal or wood burned during the year will turn to ashes instead of heat.”
This is very important if you are a football fan because if you take your eyes off the TV long enough to carry out ashes, you’re sure to miss out on a crucial play in the football game.
A parting thought: If the first person to come to your house on that day is a man, you’re in for good luck, but beware if the first person is a woman. Bad luck.
There’s an old mountain saying: “If hit ain’t natural, hit’s a sign, and, if hit’s a sign, you’d better be wise enough to read it.”
Many a man has gotten his Sunday suit wet just because he didn’t know that when a tree frog sounds off, it means rain for sure.
Happy New Year!
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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New Year’s superstitions

The coming of a new year signals the breaking out of new calendars.
It also brings about an awakening of people’s superstitions.
I have found though that many people are very superstitious.
Most anyone you talk to can come up with a New Year’s superstition that may mention food, money, visiting or a variety of other subjects.
If there is anything they can possibly ward off bad luck, they will do it, including going far out of the way to avoid walking under a ladder, which seems to be very deadly.
In my years of living among people of the hills, I have run across those whose very lives are guided and regulated by superstition, day after day, and year after year.
There are certain activities that may be participated in, and others that if participated in, bad things are sure to follow.
At the same time, there are good omens, and those of a superstitious nature believe that those who are careful to observe may control their own destiny
There are enough mountain superstitions right here among us to fill a book, yet the majority of people, if they were asked if they were superstitious, would answer in the negative, but, at the same time, if a black cat happens to pass over the path they are walking, they feel as if something terrible will happen.
I even heard a man say that as he was driving to Wytheville one day, a black cat ran across the highway in front of his car.
He said he immediately turned around and returned to Pulaski.
I don’t feel like I am particularly superstitious, but I must admit that I have felt a bit uneasy on several occasions when I got out of the wrong side of the bed.
I have heard of many cases when getting out of the wrong side of the bed has led to great calamity.
You have probably been warned that one should not visit others on New Year’s Day, and, if you should happen to make such a mistake, you must be sure and exit at the same door you entered.
I was told or maybe read somewhere that bad luck would follow if strict adherence to certain traditions was not followed
Among the foods that a person should very definitely have on the dinner table on New Year’s Day are blackeyed peas and hog jowl.
If you don’t follow this rule, you had just as well not celebrate at all.
I have heard that if these two foods are not available, a big bowl of collard greens makes a good substitute.
Personally, I believe we should stay on the safe side and serve all three.
It certainly pays in this case to follow the old saying, “Too much of a good thing is a lot better than not enough.”
I think it is particularly important in these days of high fuel prices, everyone should adhere strictly to the next rule.
“Never carry out ashes on New Year’s Day, because if you do, all of your coal or wood burned during the year will turn to ashes instead of heat.”
This is very important if you are a football fan because if you take your eyes off the TV long enough to carry out ashes, you’re sure to miss out on a crucial play in the football game.
A parting thought: If the first person to come to your house on that day is a man, you’re in for good luck, but beware if the first person is a woman. Bad luck.
There’s an old mountain saying: “If hit ain’t natural, hit’s a sign, and, if hit’s a sign, you’d better be wise enough to read it.”
Many a man has gotten his Sunday suit wet just because he didn’t know that when a tree frog sounds off, it means rain for sure.
Happy New Year!
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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comments

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