New Year in Ireland Ten Things You Didn’t Know

The Luck of the Irish in the New Year

Irish New Year

  1.  Irish families have been known to set a place for deceased loved ones who died the year before at the New Years Feasting table and also to leave the front door ajar for them.


irish new year

2.  The 1st person through the door on New Year’s Eve was a lucky or unlucky sign. If it was a dark handsome man it was good luck but if it was a red headed woman it meant trouble ahead. Wow! With my flaming hair, I guess I would be booted to the curb!


3.  Single men and women placed holly or mistletoe under their pillow in the hopes of dreaming about their future mate.


4.  Some Irish people left the front or back door open to let the old year out and the new year in.

5.  For good luck with finances, the Irish brought their purses outside before the New Year rolled in. They did not bring the purses inside until after midnight hoping for good fortune in the coming year.

6.  It is common for Irish people to clean their houses top to bottom at the end of the year.


7.  To bang the wall with a loaf of bread is seen as a way to chase away bad luck.


8.  Food was never sent out of the house on New Years Eve but on New Years day goody bags were often sent away with guests.

9.  Now this one is interesting. People look to the direction of the wind as a way to tell what kind of year they can expect and Ireland certainly is a windy country for that. If the wind comes from the West on New Years day, it means Ireland will have good luck in the coming year but if it comes from the East all the luck would be bad and all the good luck would go to England.

10.  As with most Christian customs in Ireland, Paganism figures into its origins. New Years is no exception. The real beginning of a New Year (According to Pagan and Celtic standards anyway) is at the end of October with the festival of Samhain or ‘Halloween’ as it is now known.

 If you know of any other New years traditions please leave a comment below.

If you would like know more unusual facts about Ireland read the ebook: 150 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland. Available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble

879 thoughts on “New Year in Ireland Ten Things You Didn’t Know

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