My family has a tradition of eating black-eyed peas, hog jowl, and greens on New Year Day. I prepare it, and my children make sure to stop by to partake in the tradition. There’s an old wives tale that claims that eating this meal brings money and good luck for the year. It was believed to have come to the south by way of the Sephardic Jews who arrived in Georgia in the 1730’s. It was a custom of the Jews to eat black-eyed peas, as part of the Rosh Hashanah celebration, and can be found in the Talmud that was written around 500 A.D.
During the Civil War General Sherman tried to starve the Confederate army by taking their food supply. He didn’t consider the peas or the pork as consumable by humans, so he left it, and the army was fed for the winter.
Most of our current traditions can be dated back to ancient times. I think it’s a good idea to research them to make sure we are not following something that was sinister, or from evil. We can never be sure, but at least identify why we hold it dear.
This year I hope that you will begin to identify the reasons you do what you do, and think the way you think. Don’t do things just because it’s the way you’ve always done them, dig deep and find out why!
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8