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A New Year’s hunting tradition

December 27, 2008 at 05:48 PM

Many people observe New Year’s Day traditions that started years ago with the belief that what you do on the first day of the year will determine how good your luck will run for the next 12 months.

The early Babylonians returned borrowed farm equipment on New Year’s Day. That seems a little extreme. Still, I’ll avoid tempting fate and take my neighbor’s tools back, if I get around to it.

The first meal of the New Year is significant to many people.

In the South, traditional “good luck” New Year’s Day meals include ham hocks, black-eyed peas and corn bread. Some people eat cabbage and potatoes on Jan. 1. Others eat rice to usher in good fortune.

A popular European belief is that good luck comes from eating something that is in the shape of a ring. The ring is a symbol of the circle of life — one year ending and a new one beginning.

In keeping with this tradition, the Dutch eat donuts. I’m guessing the ones with chocolate icing and little colored sprinkles are very popular. This high-calorie custom could derail several New Year’s resolutions before they even get started.

If the good luck and prosperity thing doesn’t work out, at least the Dutch haven’t bludgeoned their taste buds with cabbage. More importantly, their New Year’s fare isn’t likely to cause digestive issues. Southerners don’t call ham hocks and black-eyed peas “Hoppin’ John” for nothing.

My New Year’s Day tradition involves heading to the hunting grounds while the New Year’s Eve revelers are in recovery.

Jan. 1 is one of my favorite days to try and scare up a pheasant or a covey of quail. The dogs don’t know it’s the morning after the night before. They didn’t stay up to watch the ball drop. The same goes for upland game. They go to bed when the streetlights come on. There’s not a party animal among them.

A Jan. 1 hunt is never crowded. The loud noises that accompany a successful upland hunt can be especially uncomfortable when your ears are still ringing from several full-throttle renditions of “Auld Lang Syne.”

Whether the hunt is successful or not, isn’t the point. Getting up-and-at-’em before the Rose Parade rolls through Pasadena is a good way to jump-start a new year. Just be careful about who you take along.

Many cultures hold to the belief that the first person who enters your home on New Year’s Day can bring you a year of good luck or a year of misery.

I’m playing it safe. I will not blow a raspberry at Lady Luck so early in the year. Before he shows up Thursday morning, I’ll have the dogs loaded, the truck warmed up and I’ll meet Buckwheat at the end of the lane.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

i too call it quits long before midnight, and do not drink.
so i can hit the deer woods with my bow on the 1st.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/27 at 10:18 PM

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