How to change your luck in 2021!
After the rollercoaster ride of 2020, we could all do with a Hercules-sized helping of good luck in our lives this year. Ancient customs that claim to elevate your Γούρι (Gouri) – your luck – are still widely practised in Greece. We share some trusty Greek tips for courting Lady Luck all year long.
Charmed: The Gouri
Throughout January, you’re likely to be gifted New Year’s lucky charms – on bracelets, brooches and keychains! Expect cheap and cheerful versions to more exclusive limited-edition Γούρι (Gouri) designs by premium jewellery brands.
The Vasilopita Coin:
The most famous Greek New Year’s custom is, of course, the vasilopita cake. It is a custom that traditionally starts on January 1 but runs well into February. The popular tradition derives from ancient rural feasts in which circular festive breads were offered to the Gods at the start of the new year. Known as the feast of Cronus – (or Kronia), this is where the Greek word for year (chronos or χρόνος) has its origins. Villagers would place a gold or silver coin inside the pies and cakes they baked and whomever happened upon it would receive good luck all year long (along with the coin itself, which also held value).
Not just handy for providing a delicious splash of colour in any salad or fruit bowl, the pomegranate is also a powerful symbol of happiness, fertility and prosperity, according to Greek folklore. To Go Greek, you must dash a pomegranate on the threshold of your house after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, to bestow good luck and prosperity on the household for the year ahead.
5 MORE WAYS TO STAY LUCKY IN 2021
Other time-honoured Greek traditions to entice Lady Luck into your life and keep bad energy away:
Money: Money attracts money, or so the Greeks believe. So make sure to never leave your pockets, purses or wallets completely empty (or your bank account for that matter) – even if you only carry one or two coins with you. And if you ever give a purse or wallet as a gift, it’s considered good luck for the recipient to place a couple of coins in it beforehand.
Shoes: Never let your shoes rest upside down (soles up). It’s seen as extremely bad news in Greece (and even a harbinger of death). But fear not. If you do forget, or your shoes do accidentally land soles side up, the remedy is close at hand. Flip them over immediately and utter: “skorda” (garlic) three times. To be really sure, spit on them once or twice too!
Salt: If you ever find yourself with an unwanted guest in your house – or perhaps someone who has outstayed their welcome, try sprinkling a little salt behind them (just don’t get caught!). According to Greek Folklore, it will have them heading for the door pronto. It’s customary to also sprinkle salt in a new home before moving in, as the ritual will banish any evil away from you and your family.
Cactus: The secret to keeping the infamous evil eye at bay all year round? Put a cactus in pole position near the front entrance to your home to thwart its path. The spikier the better.
The Power of Perfume: If you give someone perfume or cologne as a present, take care that they must give you a coin in return. Otherwise, according to Greek folklore, your relationship will be at risk!