Texas’ New Years Superstitions of Food That Bring Love, Luck and Money
First off, I'll admit from the very start that I am superstitious, but only around the New Year's Eve holiday. When it comes to general superstitions I am NOT superstitious, in fact, I have a nickname for them, I call them "stupid-stitions" because if I step on a sidewalk crack it will not break someone's back.
All that said, yes New Year's Eve superstitions are real (in my opinion) because I've always been told (by my mom) "end the year doing, then start the year doing, that's what you'll be doing for the rest of the new year. So, I purposely work on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
The following are some old Texas superstitions many of which have been around since Texas was first settled. I will be working both December 31st and January 1st of the new year and I will eat my blackeyed peas, cabbage, pork loin, and 12 grapes at midnight, the list goes on.
So, let's get to the history behind some of the good ole Texas/southern traditional superstitions. In South West, Texas from around Pecos and El Paso (where I was born) wild pigs and feral hogs are just about everywhere and they are said to be a sign of good luck because when foraging for their food they root forward thus a sign of forward-moving progression. That is exactly what we want for the coming year, right?
As for black-eyed peas, pork, greens, and golden cornbread as a meal together, it is believed to exponentially increase one's luck. The black-eyed peas and pork (a southern tradition) must be consumed on the first day of the new year in order for it to be effective.
Honestly, I don't know why the blackeyed peas got ingrained in my brain, but it has to do with having a job and making a living. Counting the number of peas predicts the amount of luck that one will have in the new year one pea is good for one day, so a person is to consume a minimum of 365 black-eyed peas to cover the entire year.
As for pork, it's a progressive forward movement. The cabbage is supposed to represent the green leafy money one will make all year long. Likewise, consuming anything yellow is good luck and yellow is the color of gold. Lentils, specifically green lentils, are lucky because their roundness symbolizes coins.
A lot of the beliefs and/or superstitions come from the old neighborhoods where I grew up here in Texas. The grapes thing came from Spain and Italy and our family still believes that eating 12 grapes as the clock chimes 12 while making a wish for that month. It's also said that it assures men will increase their libido throughout the year (I always consume a baker's dozen 13 just to be sure).
Finally, do not eat crab, lobster, catfish, or any side-moving or bottom dwellers because they bring bad luck. Remember to ring in the new year loudly to scare away the evil spirits to eat and drink all the above for a year full of love, luck, good health, and prosperity. Happy New Year Y'all.