Residents share their New Year’s customs

Published 4:07 pm Saturday, December 31, 2016

Black-eyed peas, collards and making resolutions for the new year — they’re all traditions for area residents when one year ends and another year begins.

By way of comments on Facebook and emails, area residents — some born in the area and others newcomers — shared their New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day traditions. Most of these traditions have a Southern flavor, but some transplanted Northerners brought traditions with them when they relocated to eastern North Carolina.

Lorenda Pearce shares this: “I don’t remember any special foods that we ate at home in NY State, but when I moved to the South it was black eye peas and collards and ham. My family’s tradition was to make New Year’s resolutions. One of the sweetest things I learned about my Mom And Dad’s tradition was long after I was an adult. “They would each write down their New Year’s resolution, but not tell each other what it was. On the next New Year’s Eve, they would show each other what they written down a full year before, and talk about whether each of them had noticed any difference in the other’s attempts during the year to achieve their goals and become a better person, spouse, parent, friend, etc.
“My mother did not share any examples of what those resolutions might have been over 50 years of marriage and I didn’t ask. It was their special custom.”

Doug Sliker, a former circulation director at the Daily News, wrote: “Sadly I have had two friends pass away on New Year’s Eve, so I am always home before dark. On a brighter note, you, Mr. Voss, know of the traditional meal on New Year’s Day at The Slikers. Roast pork, sauerkraut, dumplings, great NORTHERN beans.”

Theresa “T” Holman’s tradition concerns food. “Black-eyed peas and collards on New Year Day,” she wrote.

Margie Woolard’s traditions include food and men in the house. “Rice for breakfast. It swells full pockets. Black-eyed peas with raw onions and fried cornbread. Either ham or turkey. Also make sure a man enters your house first before a woman, for good luck. Don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I am not going to make promises I can’t keep.”

No Wake Zone Grill co-owner Danielle Hunnings submits this: “We make my Granny Midkiff’s homemade cinnamon rolls, drink one or two Mimosas with fresh strawberries, eat black eyed peas, share our appreciation for our family by congratulating everyone one their accomplishments of the past 12 months. Then, we watch one football game & one funny, inspiring movie. New Year’s Day is a wonderful day.
“This New Year’s Day, NWZ Crew will be working extra hard to serve our guests & make them smile! We will be open….yaaay!!!”

Lisa Frymier Hodges posted: “Black eyed peas, collards or cabbage, cornbread. I think the greens are for money/prosperity. Black eyed peas represent coins. I eat them to ensure I won’t be poor I guess! 🙂 Cornbread because it tastes good?”

Linda C. Clark proffers: “Good cornbread, home made with butter and Grandma’s molasses. Blackeyed peas cooked with streak-of-lean. Eat the peas with raw onions. Yum! Glasses and glasses of iced tea, not too sweet.”


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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