Saturday, January 1, 2011

Black Eyed Peas, Greens and New Year's

It's New Year's Day and for a girl  like me, raised on the Southside of  Chicago with Creole heritage, that  basically means one thing: a heaping meal of black-eyed peas, greens (collards, turnips, mustard) and corn bread. Now gumbo usually accompanied these dishes when I was a child but that's not part of the New Year's requirements. Tradition has it that for a year of prosperity and luck, you must down as much black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread as possible. It tickled me when I strolled into our local grocery store on New Year's Eve and spotted this prominent display pictured above, of back eyed peas and corn bread on sale as soon as I entered.  For those not familiar with the custom, it probably looked like a crazy deal designed to get rid of leftover Christmas dinner dishes. But people who follow the tradition know that the peas represent pennies, the greens, dollars and the cornbread, gold. Frankly, I can't stand black-eyed peas and when my mother explained their symbolization years ago, I ditched them in favor of lots of greens and corn bread. Who needs pennies when you can have dollars and gold?  What's you new year's tradition?

13 comments:

Beauty Is Diverse said...

Happy New Year's

I stayed home this year.

Fly Girl said...

Nothing wrong with that! Happy New Year!

eden said...

In the Philippines we collect 13 kinds of round fruits to offer on New Years Eve. It is a tradition that we followed from the Chinese for a year of luck and prosperity. I even carried this tradition here.

Happy New Year!

Fly Girl said...

Eden, I never heard of that one! What fruits do you collect?

Lola said...

Happy New Year Roz! And looking forward to following your travels in 2011.

Fly Girl said...

Happy New Year Lola!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Happy new year! I've read about this custom on lots of blogs, and I'd like to try it myself one year. We always go to visit the same friend for a weekend-long NYE party, and our main thing on new year's day is to take a walk in the park.

Fly Girl said...

Rachel, a weekend long NYE party sounds like a custom I need to try!
Happy New Year!

PNR Status said...

Happy New year.I've read about this custom on lots of blogs, and I'd like to try it myself one year

Ibou said...

Happy New Year.
Many people in Sweden likes to listen to a speech made by a famous swedish actor that is broadcasted on TV (and some go to watch it live). The speech stops exactly when the bells starts to strike before midnight.

Fly Girl said...

PNR, it is a very popular tradition that's not difficult to try!

Ibou, a speech by an actor sounds interesting. Why this actor and not a head of state?

Bluegreen Kirk said...

Its let but I havent seen this on many sites the black eyed peas greens etc. Being from S.C. I remember those and making sure all clothes were washed be the new year rolled in.

Fly Girl said...

Kirk, you're a sandlapper? I love SC and have written many stories and posts on Gullah culture and the Sea islands. I'm glad you remember your black-eyed peas and greens!