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Obscure New Year's Traditions - Lucky Foods of Texas And More

Updated on April 14, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish offers 30 years successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Many New Years

New Year's Day arrives on different dates in the world, according to the culture in which it is celebrated. For instance, Chinese New Year is not on January 1st and the Jewish New Year is in September. January 26 was New Year's for Chinese and some other Asian celebrants in 2009, their year of 4706. September 18-20 was New Year's for Jewish Celebrants in their own year of 5770 (1064 years before the Chinese calendar origin date).

The Spiritual New Year for the Iroquois Confederacy of Native American Nations and First Nations, including Mohawk Nation and five others, occurs in late January or early February, following the phases of the moon.

In fact, many cultures celebrate moon (lunar) festivals on a monthly basis - particularly Asian and Native American cultures. And the New Year's of India is celebrated in yet different ways throughout the subcontinent and nation (see the HubMob links at he end of this page to access a series of related articles.]

Whatever the date of your particular New Year, it is usually a time of new beginnings, and some say, of luck.

Lucky Foods of Texas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cole slaw - with corn cakes. [Photos on this page, public domain.]Black-eyed peas.Coleslaw - with fried chicken and fries.
Cole slaw - with corn cakes. [Photos on this page, public domain.]
Cole slaw - with corn cakes. [Photos on this page, public domain.]
Black-eyed peas.
Black-eyed peas.
Coleslaw - with fried chicken and fries.
Coleslaw - with fried chicken and fries.

Whatever the date of your particular New Year, it is usually a time of new beginnings, and some say, of luck.

The Lucky Foods of Texas

Pork and cabbage are "lucky food" traditions for the Americans that have adopted these foods for lucky eating on January 1st each year. Many of these traditions came from the Old World and traveled the America as she was settled by other nations.

Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish tradition, while lucky foods for the German, Dutch and other Europeans include sauerkraut. The English seem to enjoy both cabbage and sauerkraut on New Year's Day.

Cabbage does not need to be cooked in a pot to be enjoyed by Texans on New Year's. Word on the street and at Texas A & M University Extension is that 60-70% of Texas cabbage becomes coleslaw. Coleslaw on New Year's Day is eaten for good luck.

Black-eye peas for luck are a Southern new Year's Tradition as well. What some may not know is that Texas is the 3rd largest producer of cabbage in the USA. California is the first and New York State is the second.

New York and Texas? Some of us wonder about that. Many have grown up thinking cabbage grew mostly in the Midwest. Well, now we know.

Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center has the facts: 320 million - 350 million pounds of cabbage are produced every year in Texas.

To sum up the Good Luck Foods for a good ol' Texas New Year's Day big-time celebration:

Black-eyed peas, other legumes (like peanuts), ham, collard greens, cabbage (or coleslaw), and rice.

That's a lot of food!


Lucky New Year's Salad

Peanuts and Peas

Somewhere in Texas is a hotel dining room or restaurant that serves this simple dish that people love. A friend gave me a portion that she had made and the first time I tried it, I loved it.


  • 1 Pound unsalted peanuts
  • 1 16-oz bag frozen peas, thawed
  • Mayonnaise to moisten

Just mix the ingredients in a bowl and serve. You can substitute Miracle Whip or vegan salad dressing for the mayo.

Other New Year's Foods

Another of my Hubs tells the story of foundation foods and offers some delicious meals that I really enjoy at Happy Native American New Year Meals. Additional Native American and First Nation foods that we can prepare easily include New Year's Traditional Recipes - Native American.

However, there are foods celebrated by other portions of our country as well.

Traditional New Year's Recipes of the American South provides the recipes for

  • Hoppin John; Pork Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas favorite
  • Caramel Corn
  • Slo-Cook Farm Apples

New Year's Foods from the Far East and Middle East is a good one that offers directions for

  • New Year Eve's Chicken Soup
  • New Year's Noodle Soup
  • New Year's Green Curry Chicken

New Year's Traditional Foods in UK is all about the special foods enjoyed on New Year's by UK residents:

  • Scotland - Hogmanay's Black Bun
  • Scottish-Irish-English Persimmon Cookies


Jewish New Year

The Jewish New Year is one of the High Holidays celebrated in September annually. In the year spanning September 2009 - September 2010, the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is the year 5770 -- almost 6,000 years of history.

EXAMPLE: Rosh Hashanah of 2009 or the year 5770 began in the evening at sunset on Friday, September 18, 2009, and continued on to Sunday night, September 20: 2 full days of celebration.

Symbolic foods for the New Year may include:

  • Honey
  • New Fruit - A fruit that has not yet been eaten in the autumn season; soemtimes a pemegranite because of its mention in the Old Testament.
  • Round Bread, a Challah - A circle emphasizes perfection in the new year.
  • Spinach
  • Rice
  • Fish
  • Lamb's Head
  • Honey Baked Carrots
  • Apples and Honey - Emphasizes a sweet year to come.
  • Other foods, depending on the congregation.

A Lucky Pillow Case?

Sewing Pillow Cases on New Year's Day

If you'd like to know a little more about the tradition of sewing new pillow cases on New Year's Day, read this article about them: New Year's Traditions - The Pillowcase.

Over the last couple of years, we've discovered from readers all sorts of experiences and meanings associated with this phenomenon of securing good luck in the coming year.

Happy Holidays!

© 2009 Patty Inglish

Happy New Year!

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Bacon and Cabbage are the treat in Ireland - changed to corned beef through other parts of UK and US.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Patty Inglksh MS, Great festive hub! Must try the peanut & peas! Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Great Hub. I'll record the recipe and maybe get my wife to use it. Don White

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      You might like them - before buying dried beans and soaking, etc. buy a can of them and try them that way first. To me, they are like navy beans, only nutty.

    • chrismarva profile image

      chrismarva 8 years ago

      Black eyed peas, they sound great but I've never tasted them. It must be a southern thing.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I really like those and the peas and peanuts too! With cole slaw!

    • bayareagreatthing profile image

      bayareagreatthing 8 years ago from Bay Area California

      What a fun read! I lived in Texas for years and we always had black eyed peas on new years.