Gambling on New Year’s Eve

Title: Gambling on New Year’s Eve

General Information about Item:

  • Genre and Sub Genre
    • Customary Folklore: Superstition
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: Greece

Informant Data:

  • Judith “Judy” Varlamos is from Seattle, WA. Her mom is from Karpenisi in Central Greece, and she still has relatives who live in Greece. Her husband also speaks fluent Greek, and they and their children follow many Greek customs. They are practicing Greek Orthodox Christians and own a Greek pizza restaurant in the neighborhood.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: This superstition is practiced on New Year’s Eve. Participants believe that gambling, such as playing cards, poker, etc. on New Year’s Eve brings good luck for the new year. This superstition is often practiced with family on New Year’s Eve and is a superstition as well as a tradition. This customary superstition is passed down through families by tradition and practice.
  • Cultural Context: This superstition stems from the belief that handling money on New Year’s Eve will bring good economic luck for the new year. This superstition also has ties to sympathetic and contagious magic, by having contact with money on New Year’s Eve, the hope is that you will be prosperous in for the whole next year.


  • It’s good luck to gamble on New Year’s Eve. Gambling on New Year’s Eve is thought to bring you good luck for the new year in Greek culture.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

  • None

Transcript of Associated File:

  • None

Informant’s Comments:

  • None

Collector’s Comments:

  • Judy was interviewed over FaceTime by Ellen Pattinson.

Collector’s Name: Interview conducted by Ellen Pattinson. Webpage published by Ellen Pattinson.


  • Gambling, New Year’s Eve, Greek Superstitions, Customary Folklore

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