Danville, VA - People across the world were taking part in New Year's traditions Wednesday, many centered around food.In the South, foods like black-eyed peas and pork are considered to be lucky if eaten on the first day of the year.
On New Year's Day, folks come from far and wide to get their fill of foods that will bring them good luck at Mary's Diner in Danville. Brother and Sister Andrew Quinn and Annette Payne know all about holiday traditions. Many of them were passed down by their great-grandmother, Mary.
"She started this business to serve her family, serve the community, and that's what has been instilled in us, " said Quinn, the Assistant Manager.
The restaurant offers their standard serving line and a special buffet. The most popular items were pork, believed to bring health in the New Year, with turnip greens and black-eyed peas on the side, both associated with wealth and prosperity.
"I used to cook my traditional food, but I've found it's much easier to come over to Mary's Diner and it tastes just as good, " said customer Dot Adkins.
For their customers, it's like home away from home on holidays and throughout the year, but for this family, the real gift is sharing holiday traditions with the people they have come to love.
"We get to spend time with them, talk with them, ask them about how their family is. So, you gain that relationship with them. So, it's really neat to serve the community that way and be friends with them as well, " said Payne.
In other parts of the world, round fruits like grapes and oranges are considered lucky. Some Asian cultures also believe that eating long noodles will bring longevity and good health.