Danville Restaurants Serve up New Year's Traditions

Danville, VA - For many, New Year's Day is a day filled with superstition and tradition, especially when it comes to food.

Several restaurants in Danville were prepared to keep those traditions alive by serving a special New Year's Day menu.

"Southern Virginia is the birthplace of Southern hospitality, so keeping some traditions alive and well is part of what Virginia is all about, " said Mary's Diner Vice-President Jimmy Farlow.

Legend has it eating black-eyed peas, leafy greens and pork on January first will bring prosperity and good luck in the New Year.

Mary's Diner served those special food items as part of their New Year's Day menu - just as they have for the past 61 years.

"Folks in Southern Virginia really look forward to this and it will be a good steady day all day as people try to set their luck for the new year, " Farlow said.

Large chain restaurants got in on the action as well.

"We had several calls actually before we opened in regards to that menu - that traditional menu - so, people are looking forward to that, " said Golden Corral Kitchen Manager

And the customers couldn't be happier.

"We had hog jowls, black-eyed peas, turnip greens and corn pudding, because it's supposed to bring you good luck, " said Barbara Knuckles.

James and Barbara Knuckles take the tradition seriously, but not all for the wealth and luck.

They do it mainly to pay homage to their upbringing.

"The older people, that was their tradition back then. Memories from the past....we try to keep going and pass it on to our children and grandchildren, " said Barbara and James Knuckles.

"As we get older we learn, that those traditions and those things, that's what makes us who we are, " said Farlow.

Many of those traditions began around the time of the Civil War.

And while most people in the South enjoy that special New Year's Day menu, some sources say the practice of eating black-eyed peas for good luck actually originated in Virginia.