Legends, myths, hidden secrets

The Meaning of the New Year and Superstitions

New Year
Over 2,000 years ago, Julius Caesar had the vision and courage to declare January 1st as the first day of the calendar and the date for New Year's celebration. Customs, traditions, and superstitions are part of the celebrations that mark the arrival of the new year worldwide.

Julius Caesar and God Janus

Over 2,000 years ago, in 46 B.C., Caesar declared January 1st as the first day of the calendar and the date on which the New Year would be celebrated.

He decided that the whole month of January, especially January 1st, should be dedicated to Janus, the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, passages, and endings. God Janus was often depicted with two faces, one facing forward and one facing backward.

janus god

For Caesar, the calendar was a tool and a political weapon. As the Roman armies conquered new lands, the Empire often gave the newly conquered peoples freedom to maintain certain religious and social customs. However, after creating the new calendar, Caesar imposed it on everyone to remind all citizens of Caesar’s Roman authority and power.

New Year traditions around the world

In many countries around the world, the holiday begins on the evening of December 31 (New Year’s Eve) and ends on the morning of January 1.


In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes, one for each month of the year, for good luck and well-being.


Coin-shaped Vegetables

In many countries, coin-shaped vegetable slices are placed on the table. It is believed that this habit brings financial luck.


Pork Dishes

In Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, and other countries, pork dishes are a must, as pork is progress and prosperity.


Ring-shaped cakes

In the Netherlands, Mexico, and Greece, ring-shaped cakes and pretzels are a must on the table, symbolizing the end of the year.


Rice Pudding

In Sweden and Norway, a rice pudding is prepared with an almond hidden inside. The one who finds the almond and eats it is said to be lucky all year round. In Greece, there is a similar tradition, a gold or silver coin is baked into a cake, called a vasilopita. The one who finds the coin inside is said to be the luckiest.

rice pudding


Fireworks, firecrackers, music, and the crackling of the asphalt whip are meant to drive away evil spirits and bring joy to the whole world.

New Year 2

The decision-making habit seems to be derived from the ancient Babylonians who made promises to the gods to win their favor.

In Romania, there are many traditions on the occasion of the new year. It is said to bring good luck to eat fish at the New Year’s dinner, to “slip like fish in the new year.”


Other habits that bring prosperity are having money on you at midnight, not throwing garbage on January 1, wearing red, breaking a glass of white glass, pouring a box of matches, or sneezing.

It is said that what you do on January 1st you will do all year round, so it is not good to cry, be angry, or quarrel.

So do everything you want to do today in the year that has just begun, be happy, relax, stay with your family, travel, smile, and enjoy those around you and all that life has to offer.

Happy New Year!

About the author


I am Catalina, and my passion for travel, mysteries, legends and archaeology drives me to explore the world and uncover its hidden wonders.