Nationality: Italian American
Residence: Woodside, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/8/2017
Primary Language: English
Dina is a college freshman from Northern California, she comes from a large yet close knit Italian family.
Informant: So every christmas eve my entire mom’s side of the family gathers to celebrate and we have this one tradition we do every single year. Its called um… the peppermint pig. And we take this…. We have this peppermint pig and you’re not… it’s wrapped in a velvet bag and you’re not allowed to look at it. You aren’t allowed to take it out. And after dinner we all gather around the pig and everyone takes turns hitting the pig once with a silver hammer from youngest to oldest. Take your turn, hit the pig. And then once everyone has gone, which is like 20 people, you open the bag and there’s all these fragmented pieces of a peppermint pig and you HAVE to eat a piece for good luck for the next year”
Collector: Do you have any idea where that tradition comes from
Informant: No clue
Collector: Why is it lucky
Informant: It just is. yeah it just is It just gives you good luck. Everyone has to, my aunt won’t let anyone leave the room unless we all eat a piece.
What most interested me about this piece is that the informant has no idea of where the tradition came from, but is still adamant that it gives good luck. She stressed the fact that everyone has to eat a piece of the pig for good luck. When asked why the tradition is luck, the informant replied in a confused tone, not understanding why an explanation for the luck was necessary