At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve revelers will make a great deal of noise with various noisemakers. There are paper party horns, cranks, rattles, maracas, poppers, kazoos, et cetera. It only seems like exuberance. Yet there is folklore behind all this noise.
Supposedly loud noise scares away evil. If evil spirits are about they will flee! At the stroke of midnight, the witching hour, the spirit world is (supposedly) closest to the material world. And on New Year’s Eve the separation is even thinner then ever. Hence, the use of loud chaotic sound to send the spirit world running.
The use of firecrackers on the Chinese New Year is for the same purpose. The belief that noise repels spirits is so widespread there may be some truth to it. But why? How could a loud noise possibly scare a spirit? It seems nonsensical.
A possible answer could be vibration. Here we get into some esoteric speculation. There is the concept of higher and lower vibrational beings. It is assumed the spirit realms have different vibrational frequencies. A spirit with a more refined vibration is able to enter these higher vibrational realms. The lower spirits cannot, they are stuck with their own low vibrations.
However, according to this theory, these lower vibrational beings can attempt to manifest some semblance of physical presence in our material world. But being entitles of vibration, any physical manifestation would be vulnerable to…vibration. And what is sound but vibration? The disruptive vibrations caused by loud noise supposedly cancel out their own vibration and sends them packing. It all sounds like nonsense. Yet the idea of loud sounds chasing away bad spirits is nearly universal with most cultures. Christian church bells are said to repel evil, as does Chinese fireworks.
Happy New Year everyone! Blow that horn, shake that rattle and make extra noise this year. Chase away any bad vibes!