So what do you have on New Year’s Day as your traditional meal? Do you have a “traditional” meal? While I can’t speak for any other part of the country, I can say with full conviction that most families in these parts will have the Traditional Southern New Year’s Meal, or some variation of it.
This consists of some sort of pork – very often a roast, commonly what’s called a butt roast, or Boston Butt. This symbolizes plenty and good fortune in the coming year – the fatted hog.
Next we have some variety of greens – usually collard, but not always. These are prepared (traditionally) by steaming and cooking in fat back grease in a large iron skillet. These days, folks are leaving off the fat back in the interest of their health and simply boiling or steaming the greens instead. These symbolize money/dollars as a source of wealth for the New Year (green).
Then there are the black-eyed peas. These are prepared (traditionally) from dried peas in water with a slice of fat back or lean meat or ham bone thrown in for flavor. They take a while to cook since they are dried. Many folks simply go with the already prepared canned beans, but I think it is worth the wait. Again, many are leaving off the fat back and such these days…health concerns. These symbolize good luck for the coming year; many also say that the peas symbolize coins/change.
Cornbread and other delicious offerings are par for the course in southern homes for New Year’s too, but I am not aware of any of these having symbolic value.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year and a yummy meal on the 1st!!!
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