In my family, it is unthinkable to start off New Year’s morning (woo-hoo!) with anything other than a spoonful of black-eyed peas. Actually, a giant bowl of them with bacon. People all over the world have New Year’s traditions and superstitions of their own. Some people have very elaborate ways of ringing in the New Year, like taking a Polar Bear Plunge or having a baby. These are the opposite. Prepare to hit the “easy” button. Here are some easy and almost effortless New Year’s traditions to help lazy people ring in the New Year.
Eat Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas, technically legumes, are not to be confused with Fergie‘s family of origin. (Ahh, that lyrically gifted Duchess of pop.) According to the scholarly resource known as Wikipedia, the bean-eating tradition was brought to America’s South by Jewish immigrants. They traditionally eat black-eyed peas on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Gentile Southerners adopted the practice some 150 years ago, adding bacon and other non-Kosher pork products. Back-eyed peas are now commonly consumed by Americans on either New Year’s Day or during New Year’s Eve dinner.
The Easy Way: If cooking some black-eyed peas on the stove is too much work, just toss a can into a bowl and microwave for a few minutes. Then grab a spoon. Bacon bits are optional.
Give A New Year’s Kiss
The tradition of kissing someone at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve goes back centuries. But why exactly do people kiss at midnight on New Year’s?
According to English and German folklore, a midnight kiss would strengthen a new romance. As the saying goes, “Kiss the person you hope to keep kissing.” Additionally, failure to kiss someone at midnight would bring you a year of loneliness. No pressure right? But before you grab the closest stranger with functioning lips, keep in mind that a New Year’s kiss is a tradition only popular with Western cultures.
Be Dirty & Chill Out
Oh ok, twist my arm. New Year’s Day is just another excuse to be lazy and dirty. Don’t do any heavy lifting on New Year’s Day. In fact, get downright lazy and don’t touch a thing except for your smartphone or remote control. Don’t wash dishes, clothes or yourself on New Year’s Day. Unless, of course, you wish to “wash away” the person you kissed at midnight and who woke up next to you. What was their name again? (Cue dramatic music.)
The Easy Way: It’s hard to make chilling out and being dirty any easier, but here are a few suggestions: sleep in, eat all of your meals in bed, watch TV all day and use a bedpan instead of your bathroom.
Sing Auld Lang Syne (aka New Year’s Song) At Midnight
As soon as they are all done kissing each other at midnight, most Westerners will spontaneously start singing a traditional New Year’s song called Auld Lang Syne. It’s one of the oldest New Year’s Eve traditions. What does auld lang syne mean? The exact translation means “old long since” but a closer translation for modern times is “times long past”. The old Scottish song dates back centuries and was used as a way to say goodbye to the current year. The song spread across the British Isles and then made its way around the world as the British emigrated.
The Easy Way: The song is full of old English phrases and very hard to memorize. Don’t bother. Here’s a printable cheat sheet of Auld Lang Syne lyrics.
NERD NOTE: In Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia, the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” is played over the loudspeakers in department stores as a way to let customers know they are closing for the day. Although the music is the same, the lyrics are different, making the song a contrafactum titled “Hotaru no Hikari“.
Easy New Year’s Traditions
Do you have any easy New Year’s traditions? If it’s not too much work, please share examples of your laziness in the comments.
- Fun New Year’s Traditions (In Order Of Execution)
- Ring In The New Year With These Alexa New Year’s Eve Countdown Skills
- Auld Lang Syne: The History Behind The Popular New Year’s Song
- Things to Ask Alexa on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Caroline Walker is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. She has worked in both the entertainment and the nonprofit sector. Walker holds a BA from the University of Southern California and an MA from New York University’s Gallatin School.