New Year’s Eve, with its emphasis on romance and indulgence, might seem like a totally secular celebration. But underneath all that glitter and sparkle is an ancient holiday with deep spiritual roots. For centuries, and in similar ways, people have been observing the end of one year and the beginning of another. (Read more at BeliefNet.com.)
According to a BeliefNet.com article by Waverly Fitzgerald, “the period leading up to New Year’s Day is a time for setting things straight.” In other words, to celebrate one might clean house, return things you’ve borrowed, make things right with an enemy, or spend time reflecting on how you’ll be a better person in the New Year.
In Fitzgerald’s article, it is noted that “food eaten on New Year’s Day is said to affect the quality of the coming year.” Ancient Romans exchanged bay and palm branches hung with sweets, dates, and more, expressing their hopes for a “sweet, fertile, and prosperous” new year.
As we shared with you a couple days ago, many foods are considered “lucky.” Fitzgerald notes that, “In the American South, it’s traditional to eat cornbread, cabbage, and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. The peas symbolize coins or copper money, the cornbread gold, and the cabbage green or folding money.”
May your 2014 be filled with new foods, favorite old foods, and the friends and family to enjoy both! We look forward to what the New Year will bring—and to what we will bring into it.