Happy New Year

As the year comes to an end we look forward to a new one filled with good fortune. Those hopes and expectation about the future are precisely how traditions get started and according to the country you are living in you are ruled by them. But this is a fun tradition. In the South, we have our traditional meals of greens, black-eyed peas, and pork, but around the world, superstitions abound and one of those is the color underwear that you wear on New Year’s Day.

Did you know that men in several countries follow an strict color-coded custom to celebrate the New Year? Most of the countries listed here seemed to agree that wearing black is not good (I’m a bit superstitious myself, so I will not be wearing black and follow the advice just in case) and if worn on New Year’s Eve will bring bad luck and misfortune in the new year. In Spain with their fondness for eating twelve grapes at midnight, Spaniards wearing tight red underwear to keep you warm and is a symbol of life during the cold months. In Puerto Rico, their tradition is to wear tighty whities to aid fertility and a year of good health. I love how every country think that they have unlocked some kind of secret connected to their crotches and bulges to improve their luck in the next planetary solar trip around the sun. Brazilians go for bright orange to provide a year of professional success. In Peru, they wear green underwear inside out to bring positive energy in the new year. They change them back at midnight. Chinese of course have chosen red as it is always a lucky color for the new year. Men from the Philippines are the most eccentric and they prefer polka dots for their underwear as the round shape symbolizes prosperity. Argentinians don pink undies for a better chance in their love life. Bolivians also wear pink to keep friendships strong and if worn backwards, they double your luck in the new year. The men of Columbia no Ecuador wear yellow underwear to inspire a year of happiness and good fortune. In order to have a year of tranquility, Portuguese men sport blue. Like the Spanish and Chinese, Italians wear red but for them, it’s for a year of good cheer. If you received the red underwear as a gift the day before, then they provide even more cheer.

Since Spain, Italy, and China all agree that red is the correct color, that’s the color I am donning for the day (I even bought a pair as a gift to myself yesterday), though I started the year in a pair of orange underwear in hopes that it will provide a year filled with professional success.

What New Year’s superstitions do you follow? Whatever they may or may not be, I hope that 2016 is a good year that will be filled with good memories for all of us. Happy New Year, everyone!

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

5 responses to “Happy New Year

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