Friday, December 30, 2005
TEXAS AND BEYOND: NEW YEARS BEAN PARTY
Evidently it is tradition in Texas to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Eve. Here is a link to some notes on edible bean ceremonies! Edible Bean Ceremonies of the New Year "Indeed, it seems to be a wide-spread custom in Texas. Yesterday we cooked a pot of peas most of the day using the bone from a Christmas ham. At the stroke of midnight, the entire family toasted each other with champagne and consumed a bowl of black-eyed peas. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing you eat on New Year's Day *must* be the peas. "Texas Caviar," a spicy relish made from pickled black-eyes, is served by many clubs as part of the annual festivities." "Leaving behind the subject of black-eyed peas and moving along to BEANS for the New Year -- I have learned that among the peasants and rural people of Japan (Shintoists and Shinto-influenced Buddhists), it is the custom for the family to go to the local shrine on New Year's Day, where the priest throws uncooked red beans (Phaseolus spp.) on all the congregation, like rice at a wedding. My Japanese informant Miyako Graham, who was raised in a farming community in Japan, acted the ceremony out for me. Here's what she said, "People clap hands [claps hands twice, sharply] and bow [bows from the waist, hands pressed together] and then -- pow! pow! pow! -- the priest throws beans on them [laughs and stomps from one foot to another]. It's supposed to be lucky."