The South has plenty of rich traditions passed down from generation to generation.

One of those traditions was the focus for many people yesterday. That is the cooking of a certain meal on New Year’s Day in hopes that it will bring them good fortune in the coming year.

Originating in the 19th century, the New Year’s meal typically consists of black-eyed peas, cabbage, and cornbread. Each of the foods has a symbolic meaning for the new year. The black-eyed peas have a different meaning for some people.

Some believe they represent health, while other traditions hold that peas symbolize prosperity due to the fact that they swell when they are cooked. They are typically cooked with a hambone or some form of pork product for a strong flavor. Aside from the flavor, pork also has a symbolic meaning in the New Year’s meal.

The pork is meant to represent a positive move into the new year.

This meaning stems from the fact that pigs root forward when they are foraging. The cabbage represents wealth and financial well-being in the new year. Collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens, are used as popular substitutes for cabbage. The bright yellow cornbread is said to represent gold.

Altogether the meal is a staple of southern soul food and is a great example of the rich folk heritage to be discovered in the South.

According to Source of photos: internet