and to start it of I thought I'd make a traditional "good luck" meal, something which I've never done before. So, I made spicy black eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread. It was really good and I was quite impressed with myself since it's not the kind of food I would normally make.
Do you know why these foods are considered lucky?
Greens because their leaves look like folded money which symbolizes good economic fortune.
Legumes, (including black eyed peas), also symbolize money and in the southern US is made into a dish called hoppin john.
Pork is customary based on the belief that pigs symbolize progress because a pig pushes forward rooting itself in the ground before moving. Pork is served on new years in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Sweden, the US and probably many more countries as well.
Some other interesting facts I learned about New Years are that the celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon around 2000 BC. They celebrated it on the first day of spring, not Jan. 1st. The Romans continued to celebrate it but their calender was always changing so the Emperor declared Jan 1st the start of the new year.