SaBrina Bone
December 25, 2008

When asked this question, most people might say a same-old champagne toast and a kiss from a loved one  (or the nearest stranger). This summer I had the opportunity to stand in the Plaza del Sol in Madrid, Spain where every year on New Year's Eve a tradition occurs: eating grapes. At the stroke of midnight, each time the clock bell tolls, revelers eat a grape. 12 seconds, 12 grapes. Doing so is believed to bring forth good luck and a great harvest in the upcoming year.

My family, being from the South, always eats a variation of the same menu: a cut of pork, collard greens, black eyed peas and cornbread. Each element of the meal is  believed to have a positive effect on the year to come. The pork, pigs known for being fat, represents plenty. The collard greens (green = money) represent  wealth. Black eyed peas or Hoppin' Johns are for good luck and prosperity. The cornbread, well, that's just for good measure.  Our Black-Eyed Pea Posole is a great Mexican variation on the traditional Southern New Year's dinner.

So now that you know what I have for New Year's dinner, I'd like to know: What do you and your family eat. Do you have any special traditions or quirky superstitions?

You May Like