Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Traditions

Yesterday, I ate New Years dinner with my family.

That's a tradition we always keep: on January 1 of every year, we eat a meal together. And we always eat the same things:

  • Ham, for luck (it's supposed to be ham hocks, but my mother's a Yankee and won't cook them)
  • Collard greens, for "folding money" (dollar bills)
  • Black-eyed peas, for lots of coins 
  • Christmas cookies, because they're almost stale and the diet's not begun, so eat 'em up now
My mom mentioned that when she lived up North, she ate different things on New Year's, like sauerkraut (blech!). And my husband mentioned that even though he has lived in the South all his life, like me, he's never done the traditional ham-greens-black-eyed-peas before he married me.

Which all got me to thinking: what sorts of traditions do you have for New Years? I can't imagine starting the year without eating that traditional meal with my family--I suspect the entire year would implode with suck if I even attempted it. So: what do YOU do? 

(And if you don't have any traditions, check out these--I kinda wish I could add soba noodles to my menu...)

Lastly: Victoria Schwab posted this short speech by Neil Gaimon on wishes for the new year:


Lenore Appelhans said...

I always eat black-eyed peas too, but I didn't know about the ham and collard greens!

Jemi Fraser said...

I love this Neil Gaiman piece!

This is the 2nd post in 10 minutes that mentions collard greens - and as a Canadian I have no idea what they are. I've heard of them in books, but now I'm going to go look them up!

The Words Crafter said...

I love this from Neil Gaiman :)

My husband can't stand any of the traditional new year's eats. So we had roast....

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ham is traditional in my family, but my late mother-in-law insisted on lentil soup (could be with ham) for New Year's. Lentils are traditional in Italy because they're considered to bring prosperity (my mother-in-law wasn't Italian). Go figure.
Whatever rituals we keep, here's to a great 2011!

Lisa Miles said...

We've never had any traditions for New Years, but now I wish we did. Especially since this was our first Christmas and New Years in our new house. I'll have to think of something for next year!

Katie said...

My family doesn't have any New Years traditions...this year, I spent it at home watching old British TV shows with my parents and sister. It was pretty fantastic.

...I'm pre-ordering your book tomorrow. I can't wait till the 11th :)))

Christine Tyler said...

When I was a kid, my family ganged up with another family who had just as many kids, and all our age. Our Dads had gone to High School together. My mom always made oven-baked clam dip from scratch. My best friend and I would write down the count-down in our journals as it was happening, and then we'd all run out and bang on pots and pans.

Unfortunately this did not continue when we all grew up.

christine M said...

Our New Year's tradition involves a gathering of three families and gifts of radishes, bananas, salt and hot pepper. There are reasons behind it all - but they require substantial explanation.

Theresa Milstein said...

I never had the dishes you mention until last year when I ate at a friend's house. She's from Louisiana so that's what she's eaten all her life.

I don't have any traditions from childhood. Since we've lived in Boston, we've gone to First Night in Boston and then eaten Thai food for dinner. That's 8 out of the last 9 years. No food traditions though.

Happy 2011.

C.R. Evers said...

I don't really have a New Years eating tradition. Maybe I should start one for my family. Traditions are always nice to have.

Here's to a successful and productive 2011!

Tez Miller said...

I am appalled - APPALLED - that you let cookies reach an almost-stale stage. Don't you people understand the awesomeness of binge-eating? ;-)

Sophia Chang said...

My family has zero traditions (and they live in NY anyway), but my bf has a huge Canto family that gets together for prime rib and mac&cheese at one of the aunties' house every New Year's Day. Why? Dunno, don't question. I just eat me prime rib.

Tyhitia Green said...

I love Neil Gaiman!! Met him in 2009. :-D

Oh, and I eat that same meal, Beth. ;-)