A Traditional New Year


By Tammy Moore Teague

In a matter of hours people around the globe will be celebrating the passing of another 12 months, and welcome a brand new year. It’s a time of reflection for many, and with that reflection comes celebrated traditions.

Some may celebrate New Year’s in the company of loved ones, involving traditions meant to bring luck and success in the upcoming year.  Typically, the customs and traditions of New Years Day involve celebrating with a variety of different foods and drink.

Here’s a list of a few traditions and sayings observed on New Year’s:

Making resolutions or goals to improve one’s life. Common resolutions concern diet, exercise, bad habits, and other issues concerning personal wellness. Generally, people view the first day of the year as a clean slate and a chance to improve one’s life.

A gathering of loved ones. Here you’ll typically find food, drinks, confetti, noise makers, and other methods of merriment.

Partaking of black eyed peas, hog jowl, greens and cornbread. The old saying is the peas bring you luck. It’s also said that if you eat only peas, and skip the pork, greens, and the accompaniments, the luck won’t stick. They all work together or not at all. Hog jowls, the cheek of the hog, are traditionally eaten in the south to ensure health, prosperity, and progress. The greens and cornbread bring the money on New Year’s Day.

Cold water plunges and races, sometimes called a Polar Bear Plunge, often raise money for charity or awareness for a cause.
For thousands of years, New Year’s has been a festival of rebirth and reflection, allowing people all over the world to celebrate another great year.

The song, “Auld Lang Syne,” is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.  An old Scottish tune, “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days.”

You should avoid washing on New Year’s Day. Doing so will “wash” someone out of your family.

What you do on the first day of the new year, you will do all year long.

These are just a few New Year’s customs, sayings and traditions. What do YOU and your family do to ring in the new year?

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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