It’s New Year’s Eve! What is a particularly exciting tradition to mark the transition to a New Year?
The Greeks have a serious contender. Over the Christmas season, families will hang a prize pomegranate on their front doors. As the clocks nears twelve, these Greek families will turn off the lights and exit the house. When midnight strikes, a pre-selected member of the household – often a child – will take the first step back into the home, generally with their right foot. In doing so, this First Footer is inviting good luck in for all who live there.
Then comes the pomegranate destruction!
Another householder will use their right hand to pull the pomegranate down from its perch then hulk-smash it against the door. The goal? Catapult as many pomegranate seeds as you can into the house. The more seeds that fly past the threshold, the better the luck for the coming year. Find yourself splattered with pomegranate juice in the process? All the better for you.
Varieties on the tradition include: taking the pomegranate to church for blessing. When home, the bearer of said pomegranate knocks on the door before opening it, then bashes the pomegranate before stepping in. Others may throw the pomegranate on the exterior door stoop and eagerly count how many seeds emerge – the more, the merrier.
This flying red berry tradition has its roots in Ancient Greek myth and culture. Pomegranates – with their rich treasure of seeds – were seen as symbols of prosperity, fertility, renewal, long life.
If you want to bring some of the pomegranate spirit into your New Year’s Eve. Here are two recipes – one cocktail, one mocktail.
Header Photo: Ryan