It is an American tradition to eat pork, black-eyed peas, and collard greens for luck on New Year’s Day. But how did these particular foods become the lucky symbols of the New Year?
The luck in black-eyed peas can be traced to Savanna, GA, near the end of the Civil War. Union General Tecumseh Sherman, in his famous March to the Sea, captured Savannah on December 21, 1864. Sherman’s troops burned all the food and provisions of Savanah before leaving town.
The tradition of serving pork on New Year’s Day was born in the days before refrigeration, when farmers butchered their hogs in the fall at the first of the cold weather. They salted the pork and stored it in cold cellars for winter
Collard greens are a cold-weather vegetable. The frost that kills other crops in the field only makes collards sweeter. Poor farmers, harvesting their collards in the winter wind, could count them like money and dream of riches in the New Year
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