Celebrating New Year's with foods to bring good fortune

Thursday, January 1, 2015
New Year's traditions feature favored foods
Many people ring in the New Year with things that are believed to bring good fortune in the year to come

Many of us like to ring in the New Year with things that will bring us good fortune in the year to come. For luck, some believe in eating traditional foods.

The legend of the black-eye peas goes back to the Civil War days. The northern troops apparently ruined all of the southern crops except the black-eyed peas.

"So, the south had a bunch of black-eyed peas and that's all they had to kind of eat for a while," explained Dish Society owner Aaron Lyons. "It represents good luck and humble beginnings."

According to Lyons, there's no better day than New Year 's Day to eat your veggies. Sauerkraut is a German tradition. The Irish eat cabbage. Texas does collard greens.

"They're green, so they obviously represent money, wealth, prosperity."

The celebratory meat for New Year 's Day is pork. "The pig represents progress because they're always moving forward. When they eat, they're pushing forward. It also represents wealth and prosperity based on their generous fat content."

Tamales are a Latin American tradition because of the pork and the corn. Because corn is the color of gold, it also means wealth and prosperity. Many southerners also choose cornbread.

One more tradition -- while most of us ring in the New Year with champagne, a popular Spanish and Latin American tradition is to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds at midnight for the 12 lucky months ahead.