My Nana..or "Gram" as my cousin called her...would never allow a dirty home to welcome the New Year, so much cleaning and tidying was done prior to the 31st of December. Our bodies were cleaned as well... and then dressed in clean PJ's. After the stroke of midnight my brother and I banged pots and pans on the front stoop. I always thought that this was a welcoming act, but have read that the practice had more meaning. It was an endeavour to drive away evil spirits.