After a night of celebrating at the close of one year, many Americans turn to time honored traditions to kick off a new year. In the south, these traditions often involve food.
As the holiday season winds down, New Year's Day gives us one last excuse for a big, southern meal, and this holiday meal is one full of family tradition and hope for the future.
"As a child growing up I always remember my mother making sure that New Year's Day we had black eyed peas, hog jowls, rice and some type of greens," shared Bonnie O'Neal, Ole Times Country Buffet manager.
O’Neal added, “And those traditions were that the black eyed peas meant you would have good luck. The greens represented that you would have a prosperous year for money. White rice means mellow and good health."
"You know what? You were brought up doing it, so it was handed down from generation to generation. That's why you do it. You don't even know if it's true, if black eyed peas and collard greens bring you good luck," said resident Willmener Wiggs. "You were just blessed to have a meal for the day."
"I ate last year and year before that and year before that, and I feel lucky," said resident Oliver Williams.
Whether you believe that traditional New Year's Day foods bring you luck and prosperity, it's wise to get some just for good measure. Several grocery stores in town have featured these traditional southern foods as New Year's Day approached.