The People’s Journal [SC] 2 Jan. 1902

“‘Don’t take a light out of the house before one has been brought in,’ is the solemn injunction on New Year’s night of the peasants of Lincolnshire, England. Death is certain to result if this advice is not followed.
To permit a woman to enter the house first on New Year’s day is said to be a sure forerunner of evil. The same results are said to follow the throwing out of dirty water, ashes, or any kind of refuse.
In sweeping the house the dust must be swept from the door to the hearth or death will be the consequence. A custom largely observed at present is after making the fire in the morning to spread the ashes over the threshold. If in the morning there is an impression of a foot leading from the house, a death in that family is so firmly believed in that preparations are made for it, but if the footmark leads toward the house a birth during the year is sure, and preparations are made accordingly.”

The Colville Examiner [WA] 2 Jan. 1909

“It is considered a sure sign of death to see one’s own shadow in the moonlight on New Year’s eve.
You court misfortune by leaving the house on New Year before some one has entered it. You must hope for the luck, moreover, of having the first to enter a dark haired man.
Seeking to know what good or evil the New Year would bring, superstitious people in the long ago girt themselves with swords and sat on the roof of their houses on New Year’s eve. They also knelt at the crossroads (on a cowhide) for the same purpose. The first thing brought, one might think, would be pneumonia.
It is bad luck to carry anything out of the house on the New Year before something has been brought in.
But the best luck of all, which even these most scornful of portents may not despise, is to begin the New Year owing now man a cent.”

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