Although I've lived in the Lehigh Valley since 2006, I had never eaten pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day until I joined a family that draws its roots in Pennsylvania Dutch culture.
I'm not from Pennsylvania or "Dutch" (really, German), so until I began dating my now-FH, I hadn't considered it an essential tradition. But in his family, it's no joke - everyone eats pork, and even those who aren't wild about sauerkraut need to have some of that, too. It's good luck to do it, and bad luck not to.
(This is also the family that is so superstitious about the Philadelphia Eagles that when they scored a touchdown once while we were eating dinner together, they started making new rules, like "Now we have to eat soup every time the Eagles play.")
Like an obedient convert, I ate my pork and sauerkraut and have high hopes for 2012 as a result. 2011 was a sad one for our family, since we lost two loved ones. The recipe for 2012 looks good: start with memories of those loved ones, add a new baby or two, mix in a wedding and a trip to visit family friends in Maine. Bake for 12 months. Serves a family.
My friend Kirwei always buys new pajamas and sheets on New Year's. I always clean my home office desk, put new pictures in frames and dust off the old ones. Some people buy new underwear and eat black-eyed peas.
If you're from the Valley, is pork on New Year's a tradition in your family? And if it's not, have you adopted it since you've moved here? Any other New Year's traditions?
Even if not... happy new year, everyone!