Why do you eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day?

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posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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Growing up in the south it has always been a tradition to eat black-eyed peas and cabbage or collard greens on New Years Day. There are many stories of the "whys?' of the tradition in circulation.

I've heard stories of slaves only being afforded black-eyed peas to celebrate the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation which started on New Years Day. Also there are stories of prisoners during the Civil War feeling lucky to have black -eyed peas to eat for New Years. There are even tales of ancient Egyptians eating them on the first day of the year to show humility before the gods. And there's always the fact that they grow well in the winter months down south!

What I was told growing up is that black-eyed peas and cabbage or greens are consumed on the first day of the year as Pagan symbols of fertility and money. The black-eyed peas as the "eye" symbol to bring fertility in the coming year, the cabbage or greens- being the color green- symbolizing money and by eating them drawing wealth in the new year.

For those of you who still celebrate this tradition I ask that you share your understanding of what the tradition means to you. Whatever yor story we can all agree- they sure taste good!!!
edit on 1-1-2013 by littled16 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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For health...



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by littled16
 


What a coincidence! I have never heard of this tradition, so I thought my neighbor was a little out of his mind 15 minutes ago when I wished him a HNY and he responded with, "May you have a full portion of black-eyed peas today."

I just chalked it up to 'crazy'. And BOOM this thread explains it all. How does one go from never ever hearing of this, to twice in less than an hour? Weird huh?

Has anyone else never heard of this tradition?

A definite S&F for the OP!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 
You are not alone jiggerj! My husband is currently up north and is having to cook his own black-eyed peas and cabbage, as it isn't being served in every restaurant like it is here. I had no idea that it wasn't a tradition everywhere until I reached adulthood!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by littled16
 


From the Northeast here OP. Never heard of the black eyed pea thing, but here and in my family we always have saurkraut on New Years Day.

I was always told it was for good luck....



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by seeker1963
reply to post by littled16
 


From the Northeast here OP. Never heard of the black eyed pea thing, but here and in my family we always have saurkraut on New Years Day.

I was always told it was for good luck....


Well, saurkraut covers the cabbage part; all you need now are some good black-eyed peas and you will be good to go! Thank you for sharing your New Years tradition seeker! That's the first I've heard about the saurkraut but it makes sense!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by seeker1963
reply to post by littled16
 


From the Northeast here OP. Never heard of the black eyed pea thing, but here and in my family we always have saurkraut on New Years Day.

I was always told it was for good luck....


Happy New Year, Seeker. From the Northeast, myself, and I've never heard of sauerkraut on New Year's Day either. It's amazing how traditions can go on all around us and we never know. A few years ago I overheard someone say of Thanksgiving: "It's not Thanksgiving without Spanish rice." I was almost horrified!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


A Happy New Years to you both as well!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by seeker1963
 


reply to post by jiggerj
 


Happy New Year to both of y'all! May you be blessed with health, happiness and abundance in the coming year!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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We eat pork and sauerkraut. Everyone has traditions.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
We eat pork and sauerkraut. Everyone has traditions.


Indeed, every family has traditions. I wonder is there a story or folklore behind the traditions, especially when it comes to eating specific things on certain days. Does your traditional New Years meal have a cultural back story or superstition attached to it?



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 12:16 PM
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I literally just got off work from a buffet where we served Black-Eyed peas and collard greens. It's an older tradition that is dieing off. From what I am to understand it was usually one of the only meals left by this time in the year during older times, at least in this part of the world. I've heard superstitious remarks about it relating to humility, prosperity, good luck, & fortune.

Never had a heard it related to the PTB, but thanks to ATS, you've now crossed that item off my bucket list.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by wishful1gnorance
 
Sorry to hear the tradition is dying off in your neck of the woods- it's still going strong around here! Glad to make you think of some connections you hadn't thought of before; keeps your mind fresh! Happy New Year to you- now go prop your feet up and rest!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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I was always told that black eyed peas were for good luck and greens were for money.

A long tradition for down south were I came from.I can still smell my granny's cooking ,the smell of collard greens,black eyed peas,rice and fried chicken.M M

Now I'm hungry.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by kdog1982
 
Getting ready to sit down to some right now kdog! If you hurry you can make it before everything gets cold. I'll get your plate ready! Happy New Year!



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:04 PM
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Funny that this thread is here! My house currently reeks of black eyed peas ( my roommate is a follower of this tradition ) and there is a huge pot of greens, a plate of country ham, and a vat of the vile black eyed peas cooking.

I will be having a burger for dinner. I like greens, cornbread, and ham well enough - and will probably eat some of the greens with my meal as well. But not a vile black eyed pea. Never.

When my sister and I were kids, my parents divorced. We'd lived in an upscale neighborhood of Nashua, New Hampshire since before I can recall - and the whole of my younger sisters life. After the divorce my mother, being the person she is, decided that she was too shamed to live in that neighborhood ( my Dad was a notorious womanizer and I guess my mother felt judged by others ) - so she up and replanted us in a exceptionally low end suburb of Miami, Florida. My mother had never worked, up to that point, so we landed in the Housing Authority - AKA, "the projects".

Going from a rich neighborhood in NH to the skids in south Florida is not something I recommend for any kid. It was beyond culture shock.

Anyway, once in our new ghetto home ( Google "Liberty City riots" - that happened when we lived there and I was a kid. I was right in the middle of it all ) - my mother apparently was rejected for Section 8, food stamps, and welfare. As an adult I am now fairly sure she lied about ever applying for any of it. She is a vain and proud person, even today. I think she just created that cover story to avoid admitting that she made her kids suffer for no reason other than vanity. That meant that we lived on her part time, minimum wage salary for awhile. Then, after that, on her full time, minimum wage salary. My father, for a few years ( according to my mother at least ) refused to pay child support or alimony. I also doubt this. When I grew up, I discovered that my mother is a compulsive gambler. So I think that's probably more to the point of our poverty and her insistence that Dad never helped.

All that to get to the black eyed peas point...

For at least 6 months to a year, during that period, we were so poor that all we had was black eyed peas and cornbread. Two to three meals per day, every single day. No deviation. No meat. Breakfast, black eyed peas and cornbread. Lunch ( during the week and school year ) whatever school served ( We got free lunches not for being poor, but for being half Native American ). Dinner, black eyed peas and cornbread.

Every single day, without fail.

That period passed - as my mother gained a bit of experience and was able to find better jobs. We remained dirt poor, but not that dirt poor. I went to work at 14 years old, illegally, just to ensure that my younger sister would have actual food to eat and new clothes to wear. Even at that age, I wanted to avoid her suffering the trauma I could already recognize in myself.

I failed though. My sister still remembers black eyed peas and cornbread. Even though she was only 5 or 6 at that time - she's scarred by it. Like me, to this day, she will not touch a black eyed pea. She hates them as much as I do.

So, to Hell with luck. The way I figure it, in that one year, back in my childhood, I ate enough black eyed peas to cover 5 or 6 lifetimes worth of luck.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:21 PM
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Don't forget to put a silver dime in the cabbage.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by littled16
 


I dunno. I think mine stem from the midwest. But being in a state south of the mason dixon, I have heard of the black eyed peas.

Supposedly the pork and sauerkraut is for good luck. It has yet to work for me.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I have a similar history with Chef Boyardee spaghetti-Os. It was just about all my mother fed me for so long that I gag now just thinking about them. It was her version of "baby food".



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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I knew a little about black eyed peas being a new years good luck food. I have some in my fridge right now with bacon and onions. Use bacon, onions and the proper seasoning and they are quite tasty.
edit on 1-1-2013 by happykat39 because: (no reason given)





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