New Years Traditions In The South
Good Luck, Health, and Financial Success Are Just a Meal Away
Americans are familiar with New Years traditions such as the ball drop in Times Square, the Tournament of Roses Parade, fireworks, New Year’s resolutions, Auld Lang Syne, a toast and a kiss at midnight. However, some people may not be familiar with the tradition of the southern meal served on New Years day to make you healthy, wealthy, and wise for the coming year.
Southerners hold onto traditions and pass them along. One of the biggest New Years traditions in the South is to cook a meal for New Years day that includes hog jowl, black-eyed peas, and greens that ensures a good year ahead. The hog jowl symbolizes good health, the black-eyed peas represent good luck (some people say the black-eyed peas represent wisdom), and the greens symbolize money.
We usually cook the black-eyed peas flavored with the hog jowl. In addition to the greens and back-eyed peas we cook plenty of ham or turkey, corn bread, sweet potatoes (usually a sweet potato casserole), southern dressing, and some desserts. The greens may be turnip greens, mustard, or collards. Eating this meal with the “lucky foods” may bring you luck, health, and even financial success during the year.
People in the South do not take this meal lightly. Some people may substitute the hog jowl with ham or bacon. However, some think that by substituting you may be risking bad luck for the entire year.
To ensure that you have a good year, be sure to include black-eyed peas with hog jowl and greens in your New Years day meal.