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New Year's traditions, charms and good luck

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I am putting together "New Year Baskets" as Christmas gifts. I want to include all sorts of things that will bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. I already have some of our local traditions covered but I wanted to include things from all over the world. Each item will have a small card attached, explaining where the tradition is from and how it works. Considering that there is a week between Christmas and New Year, I won't include anything perishable.

So far, I have:

- Sea salt for cleansing and good luck (local)
- Herbal soap to wash away the old energy (local)
- Lentils (this seems to be very common and not place specific)
- Polka dot scarf (Phillipines - the round dots represent money)
- Small bottle of champagne
- Bay leaf (to be kept in the wallet to bring money)
- Some white clothing (for peace in the new year)

Any other ideas? I want to make each basket different, personalized, so I need plenty of ideas. The more unusual and curious, the better.

We do sauerkraut.  Our history is very tied to German traditions.

Black-eyed peas (coins) and collard greens (paper money), although I have no idea how collard greens would work in a basket.  A recipe, perhaps?

I believe the Spanish eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, one for each month.

My dad's family is from Newcastle (UK), with a bit of Scottish ancestry.

In Scotland and Northern England, there's the traditional "First Footing". On New Year's, just after midnight, a dark-haired man comes to the door, bearing gifts that represent a year of prosperity for the house. (My Dad does it for his parents, has done every year since he left home 27 years ago!!)

The gifts can include a bit of coal, some bread, salt, a coin, or a tot of whiskey. ;D

We do a traditional new year's meal - rice for luck, collard greens for money, black eyed peas for health and pork roast because it goes well with everything else (and is supposed to represent bounty in some cultures).

I've heard all my life you shouldn't do laundry or cleaning on New Years Day - maybe some stain wipes and handi-wipes, since you don't want to do laundry or clean anything...


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