I would LOVE to hear your local traditions for New Years

I was raised up in Northern Michigan where I don’t really remember any standing tradition for New Years. But I have now lived in Charleston, South Carolina for the last 23 years and there is a most definite New Years tradition here. Here in the deep South of the United States, on the first day of the new year it is imperative that we eat “Collard greens and Hoppin Johns.”

Legend has it that cooked collard greens look like folded bills and thus are a symbol of prosperity and that black-eyed peas became a lucky dish during the Civil War. Union soldiers near the town of Vicksburg, Va. burned all crops except the peas; thinking they were animal feed, the soldiers did not bother them. Residents discovered that the legume was the only thing left to eat; they adapted it into their diet, and black-eyed peas were therefore considered the food of good fortune.

The grocery stores here put all of their black eyed peas and fresh bundles of collard greens up in the front of their store New Years Eve. Right now I have the ham hocks cooking for the greens and the peas soaking.

I would LOVE to hear of other local traditions, Please tell me what ya’ll do in other parts of this big ball we all call home. Love to you all and Happy NewYear 2010.

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