Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing this New Years Eve.
It happens every year ‘bout this time. We start to reminisce this and that and having such a good time talking ‘bout things that were, and things that never were, and things that should have been for the year that’s slip sliding away.
All the while year 2017 is quietly descending on to the back roads of our reminiscences. There she will set while slowing turning into a mist of memories. When completely vaporized, the winds of time will blow away the haze and just that fast 2017 is gone forever, freeing up space on the back roads for more ever incoming memory bits and pieces worth holding on to for a while.
Bits and pieces of 2017 will hang around in the minds of some of us forever. Maybe a day, maybe a special week. Maybe a sad memory. Maybe a happy memory. But only bits and pieces of 2017 are destined to remain forever. Now for anyone thinking I’m way off base on this bits and pieces thing, do you remember anything at all about October 19, 1979? No, well I don’t either. Now see, that’s what I’m talking about. Yet someone somewhere held onto a small piece of October 19, 1979.
Of all the holidays in the year, New Years seems to be the one with the most bizarre associations. Throwing things, saying things, doing things, kissing things, eating things, and this list could go on and on.
Now I’m not even gonna talk about New Year’s Resolutions today, ‘cause that’s a whole different story.
When you ring in the new year at the stroke of midnight, you may find yourself singing that famous New Year’s anthem, Auld Lang Syne, written by Robert Burns back in the 1700’s. Even though we sing it, not many of us really know the lyrics or what they mean. The words auld lang syne translate, literally, to “for old times’ sake,” and the tune is about remembering friends from the past, and not letting them be forgotten.
Despite its current association with New Year’s Eve, Auld Lang Syne was a song that had nothing to do with New Year’s Eve or any other holiday for that matter. It was Guy Lombardo who popularized the song when his band played it between programming during a live radio broadcast in New York City. The band played Auld Lang Syne right at the stroke of midnight, and an American Tradition was born right there at Radio City in 1929.
Not surprising, there are many, many different food things associated with the New Year. Some are a little too bizarre for me. Some I’ve eaten. Some I’ve not, and some, as the Italians say “FORGETABOUTIT”
In Italy, eating chiacchiere (a fried pastry) guarantees a sweet year. In Spain, and many Latin countries, eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve. One for each stroke of midnight is said to bring luck throughout the coming year. According to a Pennsylvania “Dutch” (German) tradition, eating pork and sauerkraut brings good luck in the New Year. German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year. Eating pickled herring as the first bite of food of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.
Here in the South it’s believed that eating black-eyed peas, ham hocks, and collard greens or cabbage on New Year’s Day will attract a financial windfall. Eating anything that forms a circle such as donuts or even Cherros leads to good fortune in the coming year.
With so many folks having many different foods to eat to start the New Year, you’d think that would end the story of food for New Years. It don’t stop there. There are also foods you SHOULD NOT eat on New Year’s.
In order to prevent bad luck, you should not eat lobster and chicken. Since lobsters can move backwards, eating them on New Year’s may cause setbacks. Now for the chickens, the idea is similar as they can scratch backwards. Also don’t eat other things that fly, else your good luck could fly away. So guess both turkeys and Hummingbirds are both out for New Years meals
While many of these traditions are based on mere superstition, the idea that what we do on the first day of the New Year affects our entire year remains popular in the minds of many people.
Here at the EastWing we’ve had our New Year’s Day activity clearly identified for many years now. It’s a Birthday Party. Johnny’s Birthday Party. We’ve had Johnny’s Birthday Party as long as we’ve had Johnny.
And like all good traditions, once in place, forever look forward. A little side light on Johnny. He was born on New Year’s Day and married on the 4th of July. I think that makes Johnny half a Yankee Doodle Dandy.
My friends who remember James Cagney, they’ll know.
From The EastWing, A Vapor In Time, New Year’s Things, Half A Yankee Doodle Dandy
I Wish You Well,