The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after his death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days." (Link for the music and lyrics.) http://www.wilstar.com/xmas/auldlangsyne.htm
Many believe you can affect the luck you have throughout the coming year by what you do or eat on the first day of the year. For that reason, it is common to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. It is believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day will bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year, and it is particularly lucky if that visitor happens to be a tall dark-haired man.
Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. Many parts of the U.S. celebrate by consuming black-eyed peas, and these legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.
Now that you are all set to celebrate, all of us at Food Processing wish you a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2009.