Tradition: New Year’s Day good luck

Note: My informants are originally from Mississippi.

Good luck for the New Year

Recipe for Black-eyed peas

Black Peas




Boil the peas with hammock for 2 hours. Pour over rice with cornbread.

According to my informant it is a common Southern tradition to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Its supposed to be good luck, my informant didn’t know why. All the cooking is done on the day of the New Year’s Day. My informant loves this tradition. She does this every year. She says she learned it from her mother.

I would like to know why black-eyed are specifically good luck. My family has made this dish before but there nothing particularly special about it. It was just dinner. Maybe the eye shapes are what make them so lucky. Eyes have been put on good luck charms in various places because they ward off the evil eye. Although the evil eye folk belief is not that common in the states so maybe there’s not much of a connection there.