How much attention do we give to cultural superstitions? Are we even aware that we still adhere to certain old wives tales?
And most importantly – what does laundry have to do with any of this?
Keep reading for exciting facts and info on New Years Day superstitions around the world!
As time marches on, cultural superstitions and traditions often begin meld together and, eventually, we aren’t fully aware of why they exist or why we still observe them.
From avoiding the path of a black cat to not stepping on cracks on the sidewalk for fear of your mother’s poor back, superstitions range from odd to downright silly.
Still, this isn’t something unique to one culture or country – it’s something that we all share.
When it comes to superstitions that revolve around the end of the year & New Years Day, traditions abound. From what you should eat, to what you should wear – plenty of people around the world believe that what you do on New Years Day will affect your luck for the rest of the year.
But how does laundry come into play? Well, there’s a superstition that exists in many countries worldwide which says that if you do laundry on New Years Day, you’ll have bad luck for the rest of the year!
Essentially, you’ll be washing your good fortune down the drain.
Some countries take this superstition more seriously than others. Many Germans, for example, believe that you shouldn’t do laundry between Christmas and New Years Day – or even January 6th – for fear that you could lose a loved one in the coming year. Oh goodness!
Many believe this tradition came from a pagan custom related to evil spirits and is said to be related to the Norse god Wotan and his eight-legged horse Sleipnir who travelled around on the ’12 Rau nights’, a time when the laws of nature are said to be suspended.1
If you left your washing out to dry & Wotan became tangled up, then your coming year threatened ruin.
As this superstition was passed down through the years, understandably, it lost some of its original meaning and gained new significance along the way.
Now, many modern Germans do not adhere to this exact sequence of events. However, the superstition evolved into a tradition, and to this day, many people throughout Germany will wait until after New Years Day to do their first load of laundry.
Whether or not this had any effect on their coming year’s luck is up to debate (and personal belief), but if it makes people feel happy and more secure as they begin a new year, then what is the harm?
If you or your family partake in this ‘no laundry’ New Years tradition but you’re worried you might need something cleaned anyway, then don’t fret – we can help!
We’re happy to do the laundry for you and shoulder that bad juju for the coming year.
This way, you’ll get your laundry chores done and don’t have to risk offending Wotan in the process. Win-win.
1Denker, Christina. “Zwischen Den Jahren: Bloß Nicht Waschen.” WESER-KURIER – Nachrichten Aus Bremen Und Niedersachsen, WESER-KURIER, 29 Dec. 2017, http://www.weser-kurier.de/bremen_artikel,-Zwischen-den-Jahren-Bloss-nicht-waschen-_arid,464007.html.