Happy New Years with Southern Style Good Luck

Picture this: it’s the winter of 1864-1865, and General William T. Sherman and his Union troops are tearing through Georgia like a stampede of hungry cattle. Now, Southerners are known for their hospitality, but even the warmest welcome couldn’t stop Sherman’s army from ransacking everything in sight.

Black-Eyed Peas and Salt Pork

But in the midst of this chaos, a humble hero emerged: the black-eyed pea. You see, those little guys were deemed “fit only for animals” by the invaders, so they were left untouched in the fields. Alongside our trusty friend, good Ol’ Southern salted pork managed to survive the pillaging too. It was like a culinary miracle in the midst of wartime mayhem.

Who were the real winners in this vegetable and porky survival story? The surviving Southerners, of course—mainly women, children, elderly folks, and the disabled veterans of the Confederate army. Black-eyed peas became the symbol of good luck, and, boy, did they earn their reputation.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day, and you’ll find folks all across the South dishing up a plate of black-eyed peas, surrounded by a cast of symbolic characters representing good fortune, health, wealth, and prosperity for the year ahead.

Bring on the Green and Gold – Cash and Gold

Now, let’s talk greens—collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, and cabbage, to be exact. These leafy wonders stand for wealth, and nothing says “Southern comfort” quite like soaking up green juice with a wedge of golden cornbread. Yes, cornbread is not just a side; it’s a symbol of gold, and it’s also darn good with syrup in the morning. Southern wisdom right there!

Pork Rooting Forward

And then there’s the pork parade—ham, hog jowls, bacon—they all make an appearance. Why? Because pigs root forward, and that’s the Southern way of saying, “Let’s move ahead in the New Year.”

Sprinkled with Tomatoes for Health and Wealth

But wait, there’s more! Tomatoes join the party, representing health and wealth. So, when you gather ’round the family table on New Year’s Day, think about the tales of survival, resilience, and a bit of cheeky symbolism. Be grateful for what the year gave you, hope for better days, and enjoy this uniquely Southern feast.



So, whether you’re from the South or just an honorary Southerner for the day, savor the tradition, the stories, and the deliciousness of New Year’s Day—Southern style. We wanted to share these quirky traditions with our friends who may not have sweet tea running through their veins, and who knows, maybe you’ll start your own black-eyed pea tradition! Cheers to a Southern-style New Year!




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Michele Hudnall

About the Author

In the vast tapestry of Northern Virginia, Michele's roots run deep, with an unyielding passion to help her clients make smart moves. This region is a sprawling masterpiece, each corner radiating a unique personality that caters to diverse lifestyles. Michele's unwavering mission is to delve into the essence of her clients' aspirations, meticulously curating the perfect match between their dreams and the vibrant tapestry of Northern Virginia, even as lifestyles evolve and dreams take new forms. 

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Michele has forged an alliance with the industry's trailblazers, joining forces with Real Broker, LLC, a groundbreaking startup that challenges the very fabric of conventional practices. With an expanding network of exceptional agents nationwide, armed with cutting-edge resources, Michele remains at the vanguard of the evolving real estate industry, poised to transform dreams into concrete reality. 

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