Black Eyed Peas. The lucky kind you eat. Not the band.

New Years Day means that tonight we will be going to my parent’s house and eating black-eyed peas.  A food that is supposed to bring us good luck and prosperity in this fresh year.  A quick google (“why are black eyed peas lucky?”) reminds me of what I used to know.  Black-eyed peas, or depending on where you family has journey from – any number of legumes, are lucky because they look like coins.  And cooked greens, which will also be on this evening’s table, look like folded paper money, and so are also a good luck food.  So I will eat them, more out of respect for a family tradition than thinking that filling my tummy with these foods will mean my wallet is filled the rest of the year.

At a party last night there was a brief conversation on what was considered auspicious food or practices for the New Year.  Black-eyed peas and cooked greens were on more than one list, as was fish – since the scales look like money, and certain practices.  Like not doing any cleaning or dumping of trash, because the day sets the tone for the rest of the year, and you don’t want to have a year of hard work and trash.  Or maybe the trash thing is because you don’t want the luck to be thrown out.  Though that last thought I’m lifting directly from a cartoon I saw once, which also had dragons and mythical beasties dashing all over the place causing mischief, so I’m not willing to quote that tradition as a verified.

But it got me to thinking; does how you spend the first day of the New Year really set the tone for the year?  If it does, then New Year’s Eve parties are more than just an excuse to dress up and drink bubbly.  They are a way of starting the year surrounded by people we care about, and who care about us.

My year started in a room full of friends, sitting on the lap of my best friend, who happily is my husband, with a kiss that spanned 2009 and 2010.

Which is a pretty wonderful way to start any year.


About woodenmonkey

Just your average solar powered, hybrid driving, organic eating, happily married, pro-choice, feminist Christian artist and writer from San Francisco.

Posted on April 30, 2011, in Retro post (which is another way of saying I forgot to post it when I wrote it). Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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