Happy New Year to everyone! May your New Year be filled with an abundance of love, laughter and creative inspiration!
Ringing in the New Year in the South is full of traditions. There are two dishes that MUST be included with the meal...
Collards or turnip greens, which represent all the green money you will receive for the New Year. The more you eat, the more you will receive.
and Black-eye Peas, which I was told represented your coins. However, other Southerners, such as my husband, believe that it represents your good luck for the year.
My husband was also told that you NEVER wash clothes on New Year's Day. It is believed that if you wash clothes on New Year's Day, you will be washing someone out of your life. We have also been told that you must have all Christmas decorations put away before New Year's Day or you will have bad luck all year. It is very common around this time of year to be asked, "Did you get your Christmas decorations down?" Southerners have many superstitions and even if others may think we are crazy...we just don't take any chances.
Case in point: I will never forget the day that I walked down to my great aunt's house to "visit for a spell" when I was a young girl. I could not get her to come to the front door, so I walked around to her back door and peering through her screen door I see her cooking something deliciously southern in her kitchen. I entered through the back door and we ended up in her front room chatting. After our visit, I get up and walk to the front door (which is the closest exit) to leave. She literally blocks my exit and insists that I cannot leave through that door. I asked, "Why not? I want to go home and the door is here." She becomes even more insistent and proclaims that I am NOT to leave through that door and I MUST go out the back door. I remember being so confused and after arriving home I tell my mom that she was acting weird and would not allow me to leave through her front door. My mom then laughs explaining to me the old superstition that you must always exit the same door that you enter. At that moment in my life, I learned that for some, these old southern beliefs are wholeheartedly believed and followed. As for me, I say...pass me those collards and black-eyed peas with a few dashes of green pepper sauce and cornbread on the side...because this southern lady is not taking any chances!