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>Musing on New Year Traditions December 31, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in 2011, Happy New Year.
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>So, I’m sitting here in my jammies sniffling (Hubby brought a cold home from work. Isn’t he sweet for sharing?), surfing the web and cooking a pot of lentils, all while avoiding the novel that I’m trying to get finished for first quarter 2011.

The glamorous life of a writer, hm? What a way to spend New Year’s Eve?

Well, yes, actually. Those lentils are a very important part of my New Year’s Eve prep. When it comes right down to it, if I do nothing else but have a spoonful of lentils at midnight, then I’ve had a fine New Year’s Eve.

Southerners, you have hoppin’john and greens, right?  (What is hoppin’john, anyway? Not the recipe. Why do they CALL it that?) You have to have your black eyed peas for the new year? This is the same thing. Italians have lentils at midnight. This, my friends, is kitchen witchery at its finest. You have this food that is imbued with all the qualities that you want from the new year — prosperity, health, wealth, luck, fertility. Good times, fat times, times of plenty. You put all of this into the pot and you cook it down with hope and love, and you feed it to your families and your friends at the stroke of midnight, the threshold time, the time when what was, and what will be are in the balance. You eat this, and you take all these qualities into yourself and you make them part of you.

Magic.

There are other traditions. I didn’t know about some of yours until I read them on Facebook. Up until about two days ago, I had never heard of the “the house must be spotless and the laundry must all be done before midnight” one.

(looks around at the messy family room and the pile of laundry just visible around the bedroom door).

Yeah, that one isn’t happening in this house. Not this year, anyway. I like it, so I might coopt it for next year. If I remember.

But I will never, EVER forget my lentils.

So, since I’ve rambled at you enough, I’ll leave you with another tradition. Auld Lang Syne. This is an arrangement that I really like, performed at the Maryland Renaissance Faire by the Pyrates Royale.

Happy New Year!

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