New Year Resolutions and superstitions

December 30, 2014
The end of the year is fast approaching so let’s talk New Year foods, traditions and good luck tips.
Food (my favorite subject)
Did you know there are lucky and unlucky foods? I didn’t until I started surfing the net. Let’s start with lucky
Grapes (not liquid form); this started in Spain in 1909 and spread to Portugal and their colonies. And why you ask, simple Spain had a surplus of grapes. Tradition is that you should eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of the clock or one for each month. If one of the grapes is sour, for instance the 4th the IRS might be mean to you. The catch is you should swallow them all before midnight. The Peruvians, just to insure a good year, eat 13 grapes.
Cooked greens = folded money equal economic fortune; it is widely believed the more you eat the larger your fortune the coming year. Bring on the greens!!
Legumes; their small seed like appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked. In the South (i.e. Arkansas) black-eyed peas are the legumes of choice. Some Southerners believe you should eat one pea for each day of the year. During the Civil War Vicksburg MS ran out of food. The fine citizens of Vicksburg discovered the black-eyed pea and considered them lucky. EAT your peas.
Pork not Razorbacks; believe it or not pigs symbolize progress. How you ask? The pig pushes forward as it roots around before moving forward. In the sunny South we eat pork because the rich fat content signifies wealth and prosperity.
Fish (not much of a Southern tradition) this one goes back to the Middle Ages. Cod was the fish of choice because it could be preserved and transported over many miles. The Japanese eat herring roe for fertility, shrimp for a long life and dried sardines for a good harvest.
Cakes, preferably round; Some cultures hide a trinket or coin inside the cake and whoever gets it hidden treasure will have good luck in the coming year.

First footing (not a food) – What the first person entering your home after New Year’s brings determines what kind of year you will have. Visitors should bring a symbolic gift such as coal to keep the house warm; baked goods to make sure there is always have food in the house.

What not to eat
Lobsters move backward which could lead to setbacks.
Chicken because the bird scratches backward which could cause regret or dwelling in the past.
Any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.

Let’s not forget to leave something on our plate to guarantee a stocked pantry.

Recap – grapes and shrimp cocktails for appetizers; black eye peas, turnip greens with hog jowl for dinner and a Bundt cake (your choice of flavor) with a coin baked in it for dessert. If you feel like you must, have some dried sardines. Call your best friend to come over New Year’s Day and have them bring a lump of coal and cookies. This should cover all your bases. Don’t forget to leave a little something on your plate.

Stay tuned more to come.

Roxie Bradley, Mayor
Totr’ville
884-6001 or
901-233-8245

P.S. We will be serving a traditional Southern New Year’s dinner on New Year’s Eve.

December 20, 2014
More New Year Superstitions, just what you need
Don’t take anything out of the house; including the trash otherwise you will be losing things during the upcoming year.
Kiss someone dear to you at midnight to ensure affection for the next 12 months.
Don’t cry on New Year’s Day. This could bring unhappiness for the next year.
No bare cupboards or they will be bare until next New Year.
Open the doors at midnight to let out all the bad from the previous year.
Don’t lend money or precious items and don’t pay back loans either. To do so means you will be paying out money all year long. Also fill your wallets with money sine that ensures prosperity for the New Year.
Make some loud noise to scare away evil spirits from entering your life in the next year.
Work, try and do something work related on New Year’s Day, just a token or small amount of work.
Check to see which way the wind blows; wind out of the South – prosperous times ahead; out of the East – famine & calamities; North – bad year for weather; West – plenty of milk and fish; calm winds – prosperous and joyful year for all.
Don’t break anything or wash clothes; these could bring you bad luck.
Recap – be a couch potato, watch TV, eat out, play the TV too loud, go grocery shopping and laugh out loud. Hopefully this helps with the laughing.
Roxie, Mayor
Totr’ville
884-6001 or
901-233-8245 cell