Monday, December 31, 2012

Got Black-eyed peas?

Superstitions abound on New Year’s Day.  In my family I always make a big pot of Black-eyed peas with tomatoes and rice for luck, but why are they lucky? 

Well, in the south the story goes that when Sherman’s troops raided the south they took everything but the black-eyed peas, which they considered animal food.  So the southerners made it through the winter on black-eyed peas.  They were lucky and they credited the black-eyed peas.

Since I grew up in the south, that theory works for me, but my parents from whom I got this superstition were northerners and their parents came from Greece so none of my ancestors were around when the Southerners were eating those peas. 

Another tradition for New Year’s Day is the Greek New Year’s bread/cake.  Hidden inside this sweet bread is a coin--a dime when we were kids, but with inflation now it’s probably a quarter.  Whoever got the coin, got the luck.  My brothers always got the coin…and the luck.

Another superstition, (and I don’t know where this came from) is that a man has to be the first visitor on New Year’s Day.  My grandmother would not open the door unless it was a man on that day.  My mother always a rule breaker, made my brothers go outside and come back in just to be safe.  They weren’t men but hey they had that Y Chromosome so it worked for her. 

So just to be safe I guess I will go soak those dried black-eyed peas now. I mean why push my luck right?

What about you, what do you do for New Year’s Day?


Leovi said...

Exquisite composition, you have a fun New Year's Eve.
I wish you a 2013 full of dreams and hopes fulfilled.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Interesting superstitions! I've never eaten black eyed peas, but this sounds good! As in Good Luck in 2013!

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness, you've done it again. Taught me something I never knew. My folks are from the South, and I've eaten blackeyed peas since I was little, but never had heard the story of Sherman and the troops.

When my parents came to CA in 1941 they saw a field of blackeyed peas and ask the famer if they could buy some... He said, there not for human my dad said, then we'll buy some for the pigs HaHa.

maddyrose said...

I have never heard about blackeyed peas being lucky but now that I have it might be the smart thing to cook up a kettle of them often. I can use all the good luck I can get. My father was convinced that corn and blackeyed peas were just for pigs but without ever saying why this was so. Thanks for sharing this very important information. :0)

Judy Adamson said...

Happy New Year, Crystal - I hope you'll have much better luck with your health in 2013!

I grew up with the New Year's tradition of 'first-footing', even though I lived in the Isle of Wight (off the coast of the South of England) and 'first-footing' is really Scottish. Our version consisted of a man, the more dark-haired the better, being the first person to come into the house after midnight on New Year's Eve, bringing a piece of coal for good luck. If he wasn't dark-haired, or if it was a woman, or if he didn't bring the coal he would bring bad luck to the house. I think there are some similar traditions here in Wales but I've never come across anyone keeping them up here.

Magic Love Crow said...

Great superstitions! I feel if it works for you, go for it! New Year's Day, we have a big home made special meal! And, it's different all the time, but it's always so good! ;o) Happy New Year my friend ;o) Keep the good luck rolling ;o)

Faye said...

Happy New Year, Crystal. Thanks for visiting my blog today. I grew up eating black eyed peas but I never knew about the superstition till I moved around a bit. My husband, who was born in Indiana, insists that we have black eyed peas and tomatoes on New Year's Day. So we do, for tradition's sake, not because we think anything will happen if we don't. I didn't know about the rice. That would probably make it a complete protein.

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