GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Coastal residents flocked to restaurants hungry for one of their first meals of the new year.
“It’s tradition to have the cabbage and the black eyed peas.” Ken Frank said.
The tradition goes: Eating the cabbage and black eyed peas brings you prosperity, a type of good favor needed after a rough 365 days.
“Here is a great start to 2021,” said Salute owner Rob Stinson. “Start the year with some good luck.”
It’s not just the customers that believe in the tradition, but restaurant owners as well.
“Oh yeah that always seems to get the year off to a good start,” Ernest Ulrich, owner of Port City Café, said.
While people search for whatever luck they can find, the eateries enjoy more business.
“People enjoy coming here and knowing that we have that to offer on New Year’s Day.” Ulrich said.
While the dish and its ingredients are simple, people said it brings a sense of normalcy after a rough 2020 filled with health, racial and economic hardships.
“It’s more just the fact that we’re going back to something that we know.” Stinson said.
People hope the dish’s familiarity and luck goes a long way.
“(I hope) that everyone stays healthy and our economy comes back so working people can go back to work and support their families.” Frank said.
While South Mississippi rings in the New Year, they hope to never forget the lessons that they learned in 2020.
“Anything that’s thrown at you, you can take, adapt and overcome and make the best out of it,” Stinson said.