The Old-Fashioned New Year's Tradition Many Southerners May Have Forgotten

We’ve always been a superstitious bunch.

Stocking Pantry
Photo: Natalia Lavrenkova / Getty Images

Most of us are familiar with the typical traditions in Southern households at the beginning of a New Year—ones like serving Hoppin' John and collard greens to bring yourself and your home good fortune to come. However, if you dig deeper, there are other lesser-known traditions—er, superstitions—that Southerners have forgotten about and don't practice anymore. These are ones your grandmother or great-grandmother might remember from decades past.

One of these more elusive superstitions? Have a well-stocked pantry on the night before entering a New Year. As a tradition, this ensures your preparations for bringing yourself and your home good fortune and bounty during the year to come, rather than an empty pantry that would symbolize a barren year.

Reasons For Having a Well-Stocked Pantry on New Year's Eve

  1. First of all, we're not surprised to learn that this superstitious practice was previously an old-fashioned trend in the South, just knowing how antsy our mothers get when they only have one stick of butter in the refrigerator.
  2. Secondly, given the strong historical ties in the South to agriculture and farming, it makes a decent amount of sense that folks would be concerned about food-related bounty above many other things.
  3. Thirdly, a full pantry is something to be thankful for in any home and at any time, making this superstition feel more grounded than eating a spoonful of black-eyed peas. (Though, we do love to participate in that tradition nonetheless. You know, for good measure.)

So if you're trying to bring yourself all the good luck, stock up on a few extra canned goods and sticks of butter. It'll all get eaten eventually, and you might avoid a bout of bad fortune.

WATCH: Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

What other New Year's traditions will you be participating in this year? We're game for anything that promises better fortune and health in the New Year.

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