Food - Drink
The Symbolic Reason Black-Eyed Peas Are Eaten On New Year's Eve
Many cultures celebrate New Year’s by eating a special meal or dish that is thought to bring good fortune, or represents one's dreams and wishes for the coming year. In the southern United States, the symbolic food of choice for New Year's celebrations is a bowl of black-eyed peas, which are really a type of bean.
Black-eyed peas are believed to bring good luck or money in the new year. One theory says that because these legumes get bigger when cooked, they represent growing wealth, while others believe that freed slaves ate the peas in celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and the tradition lives on today.
What we do know for sure is that black-eyed peas are very inexpensive and versatile, and since a penny saved is a penny earned, maybe these little beans do bring wealth. Black-eyed peas are a vital part of Hoppin' John, a New Year's staple in of itself that may include bacon, green bell pepper, garlic, thyme, and cayenne pepper.