Spending New Year's in Asheville
With New Year’s fast approaching, we’re doing our best to wrap up 2015 and prepare for the coming year. This is one of our favorite times of year, in part because Appalachia has such fun traditions for ringing in the coming year. For those planning on spending the upcoming weekend in the area, we’ve written a bit about our traditions for starting off 2016.
Food is a really important aspect of our Southern Appalachian culture. We are traditionally seasonal eaters - in part because we have such a plethora of homegrown foods available to us, but mostly because generations past have been farmers of one type or another. We typically rely on our dried peas and beans, our preserves, and our cold weather crops for celebrating winter holidays. If you’re staying in the area as 2015 turns into 2016, we recommend having the following staples available:
Black Eyed Peas - usually accompanied by rice and prepared as Hoppin’ John (a peas and rice dish flavored with bacon, onion and salt), Black Eyed Peas symbolize luck, friends, and money in the coming year.
Collard Greens - here in the Southern United States, we eat our collard greens stewed and we serve them hot. Traditionally, cooked greens at the New Year mark signify wealth - the more greens you eat, the larger your fortune in the coming year.
Champagne - because it's a party!
In some corners of Southern Appalachia, locals open every door and window at the stroke of midnight to let out any bad luck that has been hanging around from the previous year. Banging on pots and pans accompanies this tradition, as it is believed that the noisier the activities of the household, the more effectively the bad luck will be chased out! We love that tradition because it means that as the New Year rings in, we get to hoot and holler and celebrate with gusto.
More recent traditions in the Asheville area are simple - get together with friends, loved ones, locals, visitors, and/or strangers and celebrate with some locally made beverages and delicious food. With dozens of breweries, bars, and restaurants in the area, there are plenty of options for celebrating. First timers to the area will be delighted to find that, just like the reputation holds, we take southern hospitality seriously.
Staying local and exploring the area safely are key to experiencing the full glory of the area. Carolina Mornings has dozens of amazing vacation rentals in and around the Asheville area. For a spacious 3 bedroom log cabin just outside of Downtown Asheville, check out Cool Stream. Just 10 miles east of Asheville but with the perfect amount of wooded privacy and seclusion, Cool Stream is a fantastic location for relaxing and recharging. And with a pet friendly policy and a fenced in yard, the entire family can come along - four legged members too!