For as long as I can remember on New Year’s Day my family has always eaten black eyed peas, collard greens, and a pork loin. My mother always told me it was to bring good luck and prosperity. I am not a huge fan of collard greens so once a year is fine by me. The south isn’t the only place that has traditions for the new year; every culture has its own way of celebrating New Year’s.
In Spain and some other countries of Spanish descent eat 12 grapes at midnight; one for each stroke and it is considered necessary to finish the last grape on the final stroke. Each grape is thought to represent the 12 months of the year that is to say if the first grape is especially cold January could be a very cold month.
The eating of steamed or boiled greens is not limited to collard greens. German cultures tend to eat sauerkraut and Danish people eat stewed Kale. It is thought that cooked greens resemble folded money, and will bring the eater extra money in the coming year. Here in the south I was always told that the more greens you can eat the more prosperous you will be in the New Year. (This explains why I am not rich.... Hmmmm.)
The tradition of eating some type of pork whether it is sausages or in my family’s case the pork loin comes from the belief that pigs represent advancement. Pigs push and move forward with their noses when they root around in the dirt. Chickens on the other hand are considered bad luck to eat on New Year’s because they scratch backwards in the dirt and this can cause you to look back on your life with regret and sadness. In fact eating any poultry or bird is not recommended because the good luck could fly away! Lobster is not recommended as well because of their ability to move backwards.
The world is filled with superstitions regarding the New Year. Do you have any in your family? What are you favorite ways to ring in the New Year? How do you celebrate the holiday? My favorite is fireworks! All of my life I have been fascinated by firework displays.
All in all a new year symbolizes a fresh start and promises new beginnings. As we head into 2011 I wish all of my readers a blessed new year and hope that all of you discover a way to embrace your joy! Writing this blog has been such a great way to for me to express my passion of food and writing. Happy New Year to you all!