Best foot forward: New Year traditions involving feet

A surprising number of New Year traditions involve feet – here are some of the ones we found!

Jumping the waves

As part of the tradition of going to the beach at New Year, Brazilians may also jump over seven waves, each time thanking the ocean goddess Iemanjá (or Yemanja) for good things that happened in the past year. After seven jumps they walk backwards out of the sea until they are clear of the water, to ensure no bad luck befalls them.

First footing

As many Canadians of Scottish heritage will know, the tradition of “first footing’ happens at Hogmanay. The first person who sets foot in your house would (ideally) be male, and carry coal, shortbread, salt, whisky and a Scottish ‘black bun’. Needless to say, it is neither black nor a bun, but a square fruit cake wrapped in a pastry case so it looks like a pie… Find a recipe here.

Step this way

It’s also a widely held belief that you should step into the new year with your right foot, for a good start to 2024.

And jump!

In Denmark, the start of the new year must be very noisy if you live in an apartment! Many Danes celebrate the new year by jumping off their chairs or couches at the stroke of midnight. Forgetting to jump brings the person bad luck for the entire year (but presumably avoids the risk of a New year’s Day sprained ankle!)

Leaping through flames

In Equador, they take the jumping concept further. Revellers burn effigies of characters and unpopular figures from the previous year, and then jump over the flames 12 times (one jump for each month) for good luck. Don’t try this at home!

Travelling light

People in Columbia and other parts of Latin American who want to travel more in 2024 might be seen sprinting around the block with an empty suitcase to make their travel dreams come true.

Put your best foot forward with Hunt Footcare

Whatever your choice of New year celebrations, Hunt Footcare are here all year round to help with any aspect of footcare, from custom orthotics to corns, resolving heel pain to injury rehabilitation and more.

Published On: December 31, 2023