Are you tired of all the commercialism that gets packed into each December? Are you feeling the urge to welcome in the New Year with a more spiritual approach?
One way to carve out a little more time for yourself at this dark time of year, is to incorporate some conscious rituals and traditions into your New Year’s celebrations.
From symbolic rituals to bizarre traditions, from peaceful ceremonies to creative crafts, there are countless things you could do that are just a little bit different, as we usher in 2024.
A list of spiritual things to do on New Year’s Eve 2024
Whether you’re looking to bring good luck, ward off bad spirits, or simply have fun with your loved ones, we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of 33 (yes, 33!) different New Year rituals and traditions that you can try out this year.
But before you get overwhelmed with choices… don’t try all of these in one go! Choose one or maybe two, that call to you, and focus on that.
So, get ready to add a little spiritual something to your New Year celebrations…
1. Make a resolution
Not a modern invention, the ancient Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions too. These were more like “promises to the gods” to do better in the coming year. Framed like this, the humble New Year Resolution feels a little different – like a devotional act to the Gods/Goddess/Spirit/the Universe, or whatever you call the greater intelligence that weaves its way through the cosmos.
2. Reflect on the past year
Don’t move on too quickly! Spend a little time on New Year’s eve reflecting on the past year – on your wins, losses, delights, and sorrows.
3. Light a candle and say a prayer
Light a candle to symbolize the connection between the material and the spiritual plains, and say a simple prayer for peace, love, and harmony in the world.
One of the simplest and perhaps most beautiful New Year’s Eve rituals of all.
4. Practice forgiveness
Whether through an elaborate ritual or simply uttering the words under your breath, offering forgiveness and releasing any lingering resentments is a potent way to close the year. Before the clock strikes midnight, give yourself the gift of a clean slate by forgiving all those who hurt you this year.
5. Perform a burning ritual
At its simplest, the burning ritual involves writing down what you want to release on a piece of paper and burning it in a flame. Performed on New Year’s Eve, this ritual will have added potency as the collective energy of releasing can be harnessed.
Take a few deep breaths and get centered. Ask yourself what needs to be released, write it down, and then hold the paper into a fire or flame. As you watch the paper burn, visualize and know that what you’re releasing is no longer a part of your life. After the ritual, offer the ash into nature, asking that it be transmuted into something new.
6. Write down your hopes and dreams for the new year
Ponder what you really want to call in over the next 12 months.
What feelings do you want the new year filled with?
What attitude and outlook do you need to carry you through?
Dream BIG and be ambitious for yourself! Then take a piece of paper and write down your hopes, dreams, goals, and visions. Be specific and descriptive (i.e if you want to add cash, don’t just write “more money” but exactly how much, how it will make you feel, and how it will benefit you).
Then place the paper on your altar or in a special place where you know it will be spiritually charged with energy.
7. Work out your numerology for the year
According to numerology, every calendar year has a prevailing energy based on the year number, which affects everybody on the planet. 2024 is a number 8 year (2 + 0 + 2 + 4 = 8).
But we all have a personal year number too. To calculate your personal year number, you simply take the digits of the day and month you were born and add them to the sum of the digits of the current year. Then reduce further until you get to a single digit. For example, if your birthday is June 23rd, you have a personal year number 1 (0 + 6 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 0 + 2 + 4 = 19, then 1 + 9 = 10, then 1 + 0 = 1).
You can find out what the personal year numbers mean here.
8. Take a break from tech
To start the new year from a deeper level of peace, take a break from technology and social media. Whether it’s a day, a couple of days, or longer, consider it as a kind of cleansing ritual to open up the new calendar year, and start out refreshed.
9. LEAP into the new year
This is a Danish tradition. And if anyone forgets to do it, it’s believed that bad luck will follow them around for the entire next year, so be warned! On the stroke of midnight, Danes can be found literally leaping off chairs, jumping feat first into the new year.
10. Eat lucky food
Prepare dishes that are symbolic of good luck and prosperity, such as black-eyed peas, onions, and collard greens. Or start your own lucky food tradition and imbue your favorite dish with the intention of bringing health, wealth, and prosperity into your life this year.
11. Eat round food
Eating round foods at New Year’s is a tradition in many cultures because the shape of the food symbolizes unity, wholeness, and continuity.
From lentils to black-eyed peas, grapes to cookies, eating circular foods are believed to guarantee abundance for the coming year.
12. Connect with a spirit guide
Meditate, go on a shamanic journey or guided visualization to meet with a trusted spirit ally and ask for guidance for the year ahead. We can’t always plan ahead, but we can call in protection and support for whatever lies on the path.
13. Create a vision board
Use images and words from magazines, newspapers and journals that represent your spiritual and personal aspirations for the upcoming year. On New Year’s Day, ritually place your vision board on your altar, or somewhere prominent so that you’ll see it every day.
14. Wear white
In Brazil, it’s traditional to wear white on New Year’s eve. The tradition began in the 1950s in Salvador and São Paulo, but its roots actually belong in the African religion, Candomblé.
Devotees of the Nigerian deity of the sea Iemanjá would wear white clothes when giving her offerings. The tradition has since spread to Brazil and may be a sign of purity, cleansing, and devotion – a profound and holy way to see in New Year’s Day.
15. Jump seven waves
Close to the beach? Then here’s another way to make like you’re in Brazil, by jumping over seven waves!
It’s a New Year tradition there, to jump over 7 waves in a row, making a wish for each.
Kissing a loved one as the clock strikes midnight at New Years, is believed to strengthen the bond between you.
Not your significant other? According to German folklore, the person you come closest to at midnight bears a destiny on the year ahead. So the first kiss became a little like people taking fate into their own hands!
17. Dream for guidance
Don’t fancy staying awake all night? Then go to sleep with an intention for your dream, to bring guidance and clarity for good fortune during the incoming year.
Set the intention to dream the dream that you most need to see.
Remember to keep a pen and paper or a journal by your bedside, to write down what you recall, as soon as you wake up the morning.
18. Cleanse your living space
As you close the door on one year and welcome in the next, energetically cleanse your living space with (ethically sourced) sage, palo santo, or other locally sourced sacred herbs. This will help to release stagnant energy, density and lingering negativity.
19. Open all the windows and doors
Start the new year by opening all the windows and doors in your house to let the bad luck out and… you guessed it, let the good luck in!
20. Don’t sweep the floor til January 2nd!
Another New Year folk tradition is to refrain from sweeping out the dust on the floor until January the 2nd. Sweep too soon, and you’ll also sweep out all your luck!
21. Smash a plate
In Denmark, people save up their unwanted crockery, and on December 31st the country if full of people performing acts of plate smashing against their neighbor’s front door!
Believed to ward off evil spirits, as well as symbolize the destruction of old habits and unwanted burdens, smashing plates is a huge new year ritual in this part of the world. Why not join in?!
22. Create a good luck talisman
Making a good luck talisman is a great activity to do on New Year’s eve with a group of friends, and it can be really simple.
Select a symbol that’s meaningful to you, such as a horseshoe or an ankh, and paint, carve, draw, or attach it to a base object like a stone or a piece of wood.
As you’re making it, set your intentions into it, hold it in your hands, and visualize it being filled with positive energy and good luck.
Keep your talisman with you, in a pocket or worn as a necklace. Or place it in a prominent location in your home as a symbol of good luck.
23. Make a spell jar
A spell jar is a jar filled with items that represent what you want to manifest, such as crystals, herbs, affirmations, and other symbolic objects. The jar is then charged with intention and serves as a visual reminder of your desires. It’s a great addition to any New Year’s intention setting ritual!
24. Have cash in your wallet!
The governments may be trying to outlaw cash but you’ll need some for this New Year ritual! Ensure you have some crisp notes in your wallet, as a symbol to attract even more for the rest of the year. (Add a piece of citrine for an added boost!)
25. Use divination tools
Give yourself a reading with tarot cards, an oracle deck, runes, or a pendulum, to gain insight into the energies surrounding the new year.
26. Have a sound healing session
Use singing bowls, tuning forks, or other vibrational instruments to align your energy and help release any density that no longer serve
27. Set up a labyrinth or create a walking meditation path
If you find it impossible to sit still in meditation, then moving practice likely makes sense for you. Draw a labyrinth in chalk, or walk the lemniscate (infinity sign) and reflect on your spiritual journey and intentions for the future.
28. Write a letter to your future self
Use affirming “I am/you are” language and sentences to write a letter to the YOU who will be sitting here on December 31st 2024!
Who’s the person you want to become?
Congratulate yourself for all the things you’ve achieved, the money you’ve earned, the places you’ve been, and the great things you’ve done!
29. Dress up and dance
In Romania, it’s customary to mark the new year by dressing up as a dancing bear to ward off evil spirits! Bears play a significant role in Romanian folklore and mythology, as they have the power to protect and heal. By honoring them, it’s thought their blessings may be received for the new year.
Have a spirit animal or animal protector? Make a mask, a crown, or a costume representing them, put it on, and dance with their Spirit!
Prepare your favorite food and feast with friends! Nourish body heart and soul in equal measure.
31. Celebrate with spirit kin
Gather together with friends, family, and people you feel a genuine heart connection with, for mirth and merriment. Celebrate with fun and laughter – play games and lift your souls.
It’s worked for centuries! Why change a thing?!
32. Spend time alone
There’s NO shame in seeing in January in complete solitude! In fact, it can be one of the best times to guarantee a little peace and quiet!
Whether in meditation, gentle reflection, or in your own private ritual space, give yourself the gift of connecting with your inner self.
33. Spend time in nature
A midnight hike can be one of the most profound ways to spend the new year.
From a walk around the local park to a ramble along the beach to a hike to a high spot to enjoy the view… spending time with Mother Nature will rejuvenate your spirit, setting you up for the year ahead.
Make your own tradition…
Remember, these traditions are not just about superstition or luck, but they are also about creating meaningful connections with your loved ones and community. Whether you are celebrating with family, friends, or alone, these rituals can help you reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year ahead.
Whatever spiritual practices you choose, remember that the most important thing is to approach the new year with an open heart and a willingness to grow and change. Happy New Year!