New Year’s Traditions

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Tradition!  Every region in the U.S.–indeed, every country around the world–has its own New Year’s traditions.  Here is a look at the ones I grew up with; I hope that all of you will share yours, too.

I’m at least half Pennsylvania Dutch, and the “lucky” food–the one you must eat for luck during the entire new year–is pork and sauerkraut:

Pony Party is an open thread.  Please do not rec the party.

Hey, buhdy, thanks!  I didn’t expect my little pony party to make it to the grown-up side of the page!  What’s your New Year’s tradition, btw?  

Actually, I make mine more like choucroute garni, but that’s niggling: the important thing is plenty of pork products and sauerkraut.  If you don’t like sauerkraut very much, some caraway seeds, plenty of sliced onion, and lots of a nice lager beer will make it much tastier.  (Cook it uncovered in the oven, stirring occasionally, until sauerkraut is golden brown, adding liquid as required to keep it from drying out too much, but it shouldn’t be soupy.)  The first time I made this for my father, a true PA deutscher, he said he never tasted sauerkraut that good. It was quite the compliment.

And of course, if you’re in southeastern or south-central PA, you must watch the Mummers Parade:

The tradition of Philadelphia Mummery started in the late 17th century as a continuation of the Old World customs of ushering in the New Year. Mummery in America is as unique to Philadelphia as Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.  [snip]

The Philadelphia Mummers of today total over 10,000 marchers.  The parade is still held on New Year’s Day, with four distinct divisions: Comic, Fancy, Fancy Brigade and String Band. Comic division clubs lampoon modern day local and national political and social themes.…

The above clip shows one of the Fancy divisions.  Here’s one from the Comic:

And the Strings:

And finally, from the Fancy Brigade:

As The Dog would say, the floor is yours.  Please share some of your New Year’s traditions.


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  1. Happy New Year, everybody.

    • kj on January 1, 2009 at 2:14 am

    my spouse-unit swears up and down that Misery isn’t the south.  for years i said it was, and then i moved here and got proof!

    what proof you ask?

    okay so you didn’t ask, i’ll tell you anyway.

    “down” here, the traditional New Years meal is…..

    Black-eyed peas * Spinach * Cornbread * Ham

    i’d never eaten black-eyed peas in my life!  now i love them, and eat them all the time!

    Here’s a mixture i keep around for fast lunches and dinners:

    2 cans of Bush’s black-eyed peas, drained (Bush’s are the best!)

    1 can of corn, drained

    9-10 ounces of ham, chopped

    dash of diced black olives (they come chopped or diced in a can)

    dash of chives (they come in a jar!)

    splash of Italian dressing (or olive oil or whatever dressing is in the fridge)

    Mix .


    (Good cold!  Might be good warm!  Might be good with tomatoes or over rice!)

  2. Your talking about traditions and Pennsylvania reminds me that I used to have a friend who lived in the area and would send me sho-fly pie in the mail.

    As Rachel Ray would say…YUMEEEEE

  3. the haggis. Actually it’s not always so bad, and the juice can airtighten your bagpipe without unleashing sequestered carbon.

    If you were Scots, even elderly, you’d have 8 or 10 more hours of singing and drinking ahead of you just now. What’s breakfast to interrupt a ceilidh?

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