My mother used to take a bath on New Year's Eve and at might-night, when everyone else was setting off fireworks, she would burn her calendar in which she had marked up all the important events of the year. I didn't think much of it when I was a boy, but today I understand that these were ancient cleaning rituals - taking a bath and having the old consumed by the sacred fire. So consciously or subconsciously, she managed to let go of the old and got ready for the new year.
Do you know that it is part of the Jewish tradition to burry the equipment used for animal food production regularly in the ground. For food to be considered kosher you need to let Mother Earth clean the equipment regularly to wash away the sin of killing animals. Modern man may consider these rituals as superstitious, but modern man is simply disconnected from his roots, and these roots eventually will catch up with him. The Chinese tradition of Feng Shui explains what we do, and what would be beneficial for us to do, by simply stating ancient real and symbolic energy patterns. We do what we do for a reason, and once we study what we do, we often find sacred acts behind them.
Once we are aware of these connections we can use them to our advantage, and that's where the notion of a talisman and the so-called superstitious acts come from. C. G. Jung wasn't shy to remind the psychological community of our collective soul. We are all part of this collective unconscious and we can use these psychological and spiritual procedures to our advantage. For those of you who are interested in more depth on this subject, the Chilean author Alexandro Jodorowsky's book "Psychomagic" gives some great pointers.