THOMASVILLE, N.C. — With the holidays come traditions and New Year’s Day is certainly no exception with people planning to spend time with family and around the dinner table for a traditional New Year’s meal.
The most famous traditional New Year’s meal seems to be black-eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread served with ham or some other pork delicacy.
At Legend’s Family Restaurant in Thomasville the special on New Year’s day is Pork Tenderloin along with the black-eyed peas, collard and cornbread.
Customer after customer filled up on the special even if they didn’t quite remember how this became a tradition.
“When you eat that you’ve really had you a good meal,” said Lee Mauldin of Thomasville, who was actually having a different selection for lunch, knowing his wife is preparing the traditional meal for dinner.
“Collard greens and hog jawls. Well I think she’s gonna make it out of ham but we call it hog jawls and she has a special way of making it. Good Stuff man!”
But why exactly do we eat what we eat on New Year’s?
“The black eyed peas supposed to be for good luck I think,” said Charles Garrett.
Mauldin agrees, adding that the pork dish is for health, “Oh yeah, I’ll be 72 next birthday been running well.”
And the Collard Greens?
“Money….a lot of money,” Legend’s waitress Angela Osborne quipped.
So, black eyed peas for luck, pork for health and collard greens for money.
But how wide does this tradition spread?
“I’m from up north, from Pennsylvania,” said Lisa Fehn, also eating lunch as Legend’s.
“The tradition up there is pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Not collard greens, not black eyed peas.”
She says she’s lived in North Carolina for 9 years and she’s never heard of this tradition.
But everybody agrees, whatever the meal, a good feast is a good way to start the year.
“I’m getting pancakes and bacon,” laughed Fehn.
Good luck with that.