New Year's Eve Traditions

New Year's Eve is three days away. One of my friends mentioned preparing for it, by getting certain foods. Things like collard greens and black eyed peas. It's only at this time of year do I ever remember that my dad likes eating that type of food on New Year's Eve. Though he eats stewed tomatoes too. This year, I've been interested in learning where traditions come from. Why we do certain odd things for reasons we cant remember. So, on to the info I could find...

Since the odd foods are what prompted this search, we will start here. I've found black eyed peas to be prevalent in the food traditions of my participating friends and family. My dad always eats his with stewed tomatoes. This apparently represents wealth and heath. There are other ways of serving them. If served with green (collard, turnip or mustard) or cabbage, the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. Overall that equals wealth. Cornbread is often served with the greens and peas and it represents gold. A game of sorts is to add a penny or dime to the pot. Who ever gets the coin in their bowl has the most luck for the new year.

I've never been a fan of eating any of these luck foods. The taste of them is not appealing to me. However there are some other foods in other countries that look more appealing.
  • In Ecuador, Spain and Mexico, each person eats twelve grapes before midnight, making a wish with each grape. (There is also an interesting tradition with underwear...yellow for wealth and red for love)
  • In Italy, at dinner they have zampone or cotechino (kind of spiced fatty pork Italian sausage which represents fat wallets) and lentils (like the peas, they symbolize money)
  • In the Philippines, they eat pancit (a very thin rice noodle), hamon (a ham that is baked and glazed), and if they could afford it Lechón (a roasted pig)
  • In Austria, during the Sylvesterabend dinner, they have pink pig cookies and eat pork. The pig is chosen because they root forward.


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