Friday, January 1, 2010

Black-Eyed Peas & Hog Jowls

The first day of the new year has a lot of traditions and superstitions associated with it.

Some folks make a lot of noise to ring in the new year and ring out the old. When the new year arrives, you are supposed to kiss your sweetheart and sing "Auld Lang Syne." Another tradition consists of opening all the doors in your house at the stroke of midnight to let the old year out. Still another superstition holds that you should wear something new on Jan. 1 to increase the possibility of getting new garments for the coming year.

But here in the South, the most popular and prevalent of all the New Year's Day traditions has to do with what you eat on Jan. 1.

Many Southerners, and some Northerners too, celebrate the new year by eating black-eyed peas. They are usually accompanied by either hog jowls or some kind of pork. Black-eyed peas and other legumes are considered to be good luck by many people. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is eaten on New Year's Day. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of good fortune because they supposedly represent paper money, according to a Web site.

By Mike Conley

The McDowell News