18th November 2019

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Why do we eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's Day?

Southern tradition holds that the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day should be black-eyed peas for luck and prosperity -- specifically, one pea for each day of the year. To really ensure a good year, add a mess o' greens for wealth.

Similarly, why do you eat collard greens on New Year's Day?

Collard greens (or any greens) sub for cabbage in the south because that's what we grow here in the late fall. The southern tradition: each bite of greens you eat is worth $1,000 in the upcoming year. Cornbread represents pocket money or spending money. It's another soul food we eat on New Year's.

Why do you eat cabbage on New Year's Day?

Cook cabbage for New Year's and you find yourself richer in the coming year. I grew up in a Southern family eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck. But when I moved to New Orleans, I learned of a related food tradition that is supposed to bring financial prosperity in the coming year.

What are you supposed to eat on New Year's Day?

Or at least they'll pick us up after hard-partying the night before.
  • Black-Eyed Peas, Greens, and Cornbread. Luck factor: Even folks who aren't from the Southern United States go all in on eating black-eyed peas and leafy greens for good luck on New Year's Day.
  • Pork.
  • Grapes.
  • Pomegranates.
  • Fish.
  • Noodles and Rice.
  • Cakes.
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