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New Years and Black Eyed Peas

Updated on December 31, 2020
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Are black-eyed peas a part of your New Years celebration? Why?

Black eyed peas.
Black eyed peas.

My history with black eyed peas

When I was a child, we had a New Years Eve party every year because it was also my father's birthday. And every year at midnight, my mother would walk around with a bowl of black eyed peas and spoons. Everyone took a spoonful of black eyed peas and ate them. I thought they were really nasty, but it was a requirement at our home and so I was just glad it only happened once a year.

I never asked my mom where she got the tradition from and she never elaborated on it either, maybe she didn't know and just followed tradition.

So, being that tonight is that special night of the year, I thought I'd look up the history behind black eyed peas and New Years. It left me slightly more confused as to how it came to be a part of my families tradition. But we have continued that same tradition.

Superstitions of Black Eyed Peas

Many people believe that black eyed peas at New Years will bring good luck and wealth. The swelling of the beans when cooked means prosperity. Others add cabbage to them to represent money.

Some believe it's more a ritual of the south. It has been said that during the civil war, the northern troops destroyed all of the crops in the south, leaving just the black eyed peas. The black eyed peas kept them from starving and should that the south could overcome anything with their strength and resilience. Although, there is no proof that this really took place.

The Jews and Black Eyed Peas

According to the Talmud, a book of Jewish theology dates black eyed peas back to the 5th century AD. Black eyed peas were a meal cooked in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This took place in early December.

Happy New Year

As we celebrate the New Year with various traditions and beliefs; many will be having black eyed peas as part of their celebration. No matter the reason behind it, the belief is still there today.

Many wishes for a prosperous New Year.


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