5 Foods for Good Luck: A Southern New Year’s Day Tradition

Here in the South, New Year’s Day brings a whole new mess of meaning to the table. While traditional southern dishes are enjoyed year-round, failure to incorporate the most symbolic on New Year’s Day is very bad luck.

Now ya’ll most certainly don’t want that. Cook up some greens and black-eyed peas, and ya’ll be livin’ in high cotton in the year to come.

For extra luck, cook everything with pork. The more pig involved in the meal, the more luck it brings. The pig is a symbol of forward moving, so the more you eat the more prosperous you will be.

If all ya’ll fixin’ on making the proper supper, then you’uns best be fixin’ these southern traditions.

1. Cornbread

The Country Contessa
The Country Contessa

Nothing soaks up fatback like a chunk of cornbread. A staple in a Southern supper, cornbread is especially important on New Year’s Day. The color is considered to represent gold, and eating it means you will have spending money.

For deeper pockets, toss in some corn kernels. Representing nuggets of gold, the kernels will make you that much richer. Get the Southern Cornbread recipe here.

2. Greens

Southern Style Collard Greens

Now, greens don’t mean just any old collards. In the South, there is a proper way to slow-cook collards and it involves pork. You simply can’t prepare greens without rendering it in fat.

Green like the color of money, this is one Southern staple you don’t want to miss. Eat a whole mess on New Year’s Day, otherwise your luck may run out.

Make the best dern tootin’ collards with this recipe.

3. Black-Eyed Peas

A Few Shortcuts
A Few Shortcuts

One of the most popular New Year’s Day traditions is a mess of black-eyed peas – 365 of them to be exact. Some choose to eat one pea per day in a year. However, the more you eat, the more luck you will have.

The reason is black-eyed peas are said to represent pennies. Over time, they add up to more wealth. They also swell as you cook, getting more out of each pea.

For extra luck, throw a silver coin in the pot. Whoever gets the coin will have the most prosperous year. Or, to bring some luck to everyone on the table, place a penny under each bowl. After all, it couldn’t hurt.

Get the recipe for Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas here.

4. Hoppin’ John

She Wears Many Hats

Hoppin’ John is a low country dish consisting of black-eyed peas, rice, and fatback or ham hock. Consisting of all that is good on New Year’s day, it’s like one big pot of money.

So how did this pot of luck get it’s name? Well, that’s up for debate. One version of the story involves a man named Hoppin’ John selling the dish on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, and the other involves children hopping around before eating their meal. Either way, it certainly couldn’t hurt your luck.

Let She Wears Many Hats show you how to get ‘er done right with this recipe here.

5. Hog Jowl

Scrumptious Chef
Scrumptious Chef

If you aren’t familiar with this portion of the pig, hog jowl is the cheek. It is typically added to season or enhance the flavor of a dish. Toss it in the pot with the black-eyed peas and let them soak up all that rich, fatty goodness.

While hog jowl does represent wealth, it also ensures good health. I mean, if you don’t got your health, then what are you going to do with all that money?

Learn how to make your own hog jowl with this recipe.

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