New Year’s Day Traditional Food

Do you eat the traditional foods on New Year’s Day?  What are they?  As long as I can remember, we were supposed to eat cabbage, black eyed peas and pork on New Year’s Day.  I was never quite sure why but I surely wasn’t going to be the one to not do it and have bad luck the whole year!  I really don’t believe all this but I’m fixing it anyway.  Tradition, you know?

Black eyed peas are done and cabbage is simmering (stinking up the house but I love cooked cabbage):

Remember that last time I fixed stuffed pork chops, I made three extras for the freezer.  Defrosted them and all I have to do is stick them in the oven for about an hour and make the syrup sauce.

Chad’s dinner break is around 3:00 so I’ll have all this ready and bake a pan of cornbread and in 2011, we’ll be prosperous, healthy, and whatever else we’re supposed to be if we eat the right foods on New Year’s Day! 🙂

After a little research, I found that it’s traditional to eat the following foods for the following reasons:

  • Greens – Can be cabbage, kale, mustard greens, sauerkraut or anything along those lines.  The greens are supposed to bring financial fortune.  The “green” supposedly represents folded paper money.  We’re having cabbage seasoned with bacon grease.
  • Legumes – Any kind of beans or peas.  These represent coins and again, will bring us great fortune during 2011.  We’re having black eyed peas seasoned with tasso because that’s what we’ve always had in the past.  Black eyed peas are my least favorite of all peas/beans.  It’s not that I truly don’t like them but they’re just not my favorite.
  • Pork – This supposedly represents progress.  We want to make much progress during 2011 . . maybe even progress to a new location!  🙂  So, we’re going to have bacon in the morning and stuffed pork chops for our main meal.

And there are things we should avoid eating!  Lobster and chicken, because lobsters swim backwards, chickens scratch backwards and either of them could take you back instead of helping you move forward.  This is bad news for Vince because he just ate some leftover turkey tetrazzini.  Do turkeys scratch backwards?


  1. 1


    Pork and Saurkraut is tradition with Pennsylvania Germans. This year, however, we are foregoing… my MIL broke her wrist.

    Happy New Year!

  2. 2

    Gwen says

    Will be having blackeyed peas and cornbread with pot roast and noodles. Peas are the only traditional food for us. Have only heard about some of the others in the last few years. Have a great New Year!

  3. 3


    In the south, I always heard it was blackeyed peas and collard greens – neither are my favorites. However, we are fitting mostly with your list – DH is making a white bean and kale soup. Sounds yummy and I don’t have to cook (well, I made bread in the bread machine and it is busily rising already).

  4. 4

    Toni in TN says

    Just ate!! On the menu was cornbread, ham, Hoppin’ John [blackeyed peas and rice] and turnip greens. The peas were seasoned with Slap Ya Momma. Lordy, lordy was that ever good. Thanks for the suggestion, Judy!!

  5. 5


    This is the first year I haven’t done the pork & sauerkraut thing…J & I agreed it didn’t really do much for us last year, let’s eat beef LOL. I was telling him about the black eyed peas thing (I’m from OK originally) & he said he had never heard of that (but he ate them last year, giggle). So dinner for us when he gets home from hunting is chicken fried cubed steak, mashed potatoes with skillet gravy & whatever veggie I spot first 🙂

  6. 6


    My husband’s family tradition is shrimp and grits for breakfast. My family’s tradition is black bean soup for dinner.

  7. 7

    Pam says

    Collards, black eyed peas with ham, and corn muffins. That was our feast. Husband even ate collards- not his favorite. Could have been that my mother is with us!
    Here’s to a prosperous new year for us all.
    The peas were cooked in the pressure cooker. Best ones I’ve ever cooked. Thanks for pointing out that the pressure cooker is great for dried beans.

    Continue to charm us with your words through out the year.

  8. 8


    We are having the following:
    Meat Loaf with gravy instead of tomato sauce
    Mashed potatoes
    black-eyed peas
    steam-fried cabbage seasoned with bacon
    corn bread.

  9. 9


    I’m fixing a pork roast in the crock pot. My daughter found the recipe on Tasty Kitchen and makes it all the time. Pork roast, brown sugar, can of whole cranberry sauce and dejon mustard. All I can say is it smells good.

    Think I will fry some cabbage to go with it. I’d go for the black eyes peas, but not sure the blacksmith would.

    Corn bread sounds good too!


  10. 11

    Tamara says

    My family’s tradition is to have home made blintezs made by my Dad. Super yummy and a wonderful way to celebrate his birthday.

  11. 12

    Mariel says

    I remember my mom and grandma always fixing corn beef and cabbage. My mom said my grandmother always put a nickel in the pot and the one who got it would have good luck for the new year. I hope she cleaned that nickel before she dropped it in! I’m not sure if you call this “tradition or superstition.” 🙂 Any way I wish you and your family a blessed new year. (Hope you get the nickel. 😉 )

  12. 13

    trina says

    Judy, thank you for that info. We had Pork Belgian/ sauerkraut and green beans.(Does green beans count?) Of course, got to have mashed potatoes to help cut down sourness of the kraut. I almost cooked a chicken. LOL.


  13. 14

    Helen says

    I don’t remember having any particular food for New Year, but what I do remember was leaving the house just before midnight and then after either the midnight pips or Big Ben, we would ring the doorbell. We would have money, bread, coal (or charcoal if we couldn’t get coal) and salt which we would offer to whoever answered the door. The tradition was called “First Footing”. My mother and I were the two in the family with the darkest coloured hair which is why we were the two to bring the offerings which represent prosperity, food, warmth and I’m not sure about the salt, lol.
    I love to hear about traditions in different places. It sounds like the food you cool and the “first footing” are about the same best wishes for the New Year.

  14. 15


    Down here in Georgia, we had Meat Loaf, collard greens, black eyed peas, rutabagas and corn bread!! With lots of hot chow-chow!

  15. 17


    We never had any traditional New Year’s foods growing up so tonight we’re having pizza! DH and I like the vegetarian pizza a small local place has, and the kids will have pepperoni, which means there are no pork or greens in our dinner. No chicken and no lobster either, anyway! Happy New Year!

  16. 18


    We had black-eyes peas and rice, a baked ham, smothered cabbage, cornbread, and I made some scalloped potatoes. Key lime pie and butter cream cake for dessert. We ought to be healthy, wealthy and wise next year!

  17. 19


    In the netherlands we have traditional ‘food’ for the last day of the year, “Oliebollen”. They are actually a sweet snack, lumps of batter (with raisins added by choice) fried in oil. If this sounds terribly fat, they are. I do not like them at all, even the smell makes me nauseous, so I do not eat them. Never have had any bad luck because of me not eating them, at least not that I know of (perhaps we would have won the lottery if I did eat them…..)

  18. 20


    We do black-eyed peas, ham of some sort and greens of some sort – a tradition we picked up from friends when we lived in Houston. As I understand it, the peas and greens stand for wealth or prosperity (coins for the peas, dollar bills for the greens), and the ham for luck. My tradition gets varied depending on where we are though as collared greens aren’t readily available world-wide (!!!). This year, my greens were Swiss Chard!