Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Another New Year"

Sent in by Amy S of Florida...

Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.

Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.

The song, "Auld Lang Syne," playing in the background, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

This is Rex Barker, reminding that while all are encouraged to enjoy New Years, remember that if you party so hard that you don’t remember anything, than the whole night was a waste. Lets enjoy your family and friends and keep our wits about us. Happy 2009.


Preston said...

Here's wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy new year!

Winifred said...

Yes we still have a First Foot, traditionally a man, bringing in a piece of coal. My husband pops out of the back door at a couple of minutes to midnight with his bit of coal and at midnight he comes in the front door. We then have a glass of sherry to toast the New Year. He meets other men n the street doing the same thing. He's always been our First Foot, he used to have very dark hair although he's never been very tall!

The Mulligan Family said...

Ah yes... I've already got my black-eyed peas ready to eat tomorrow. Yum!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Happy New Year, Patty!
My Mom always made cooked cabbage. With a SILVER dollar.
Whoever got the silver dollar was ensured to have good luck throughout the new year.

carl h. sr. said...

Black-eyed peas,hog jowls and turnip greens.That was my menu.
I would have made hoe-cakes(corn meal,water,oil or butter)but had no corn meal. They are so good soaked in pot liquor!
Happy New Year Patty!

Nancy said...

We have always had pork on New Year's Day. We now also make Kapusta with a butt ham, a Polish dish with cabbage. It is just TOO good!!! Doesn't look good, but believe me, IT IS!!! I am going to post it on my recipe blog one day this week with a photo. Easy to make in a large 5-quart crockpot....with homemade rolls, I could live on that stuff! Yum! Yum! Watch for the recipe soon!

((( Hugs )))