Eating Black-Eyed Peas on New Years Day

In the south there is a tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. Why? because it's supposed to bring you good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

Why do people eat black eyed peas on New Years Day?
  • Black-eyed peas have a lucky reputation reaching as far back as 500 A.D. during the Jewish Holiday Rosh Hashanah to celebrate the Jewish New Year.
  • They were deemed good luck by confederates after they survived on only peas during the winter, after their food stash was raided by Union Soldiers. 
  • The Emancipation Proclamation. Black-eyed peas were the only food enslaved people had to celebrate with. So on the first day of January in 1863 they celebrated by eating black-eyed peas, and that tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Black-eyed peas were one of the best food options during the winter tine. The peas grew well in winter, they were easy to store and cheap. Making it an easy food to celebrate the first of January.

How do people eat their black-eyed peas?
  • Cook them with collard greens for a financially prosperous new year.
  • Cook them with rice (Hoppin' John) for good luck.
  • Use the beans in your favorite soup for good luck.

If this will be a new tradition for your family here is just one recipe for Black-Eyed Peas. A quick Google search will proved a huge selection of recipes that would suit your tastes.

Whichever story you pass down, however you cook your peas... Here's to a happy, healthy, lucky and prosperous New Year's to all!