1. Haint Blue – It’s no coincidence that many Southern homes paint the ceiling of their front porch blue, or “haint” blue. Originally this color was chosen to deter spirits, haunts (haints), and ghosts. This color was also thought to deter biting insects. Now we know better, but the tradition lives on. And, if I say so myself, it’s a beautiful one!
2. Bottle Trees – Southern gardens traditionally have a “bottle tree.” Bottle trees were believed to attract evil spirits at dusk. The spirits were supposedly trapped in the bottles, and when the sun rose and shone on the bottles, the spirits were destroyed. Tradition says that as the wind blew across the bottles you could hear the spirits moaning.
3. Burying the Bourbon – Southern wedding tradition says that if a bride and groom go to the site of their wedding exactly one month before the wedding day and bury a bottle of bourbon, then it will not rain on their wedding day. The bottle should be completely full and buried upside down, or so tradition says.
4. Cake Pulls – Another Southern wedding tradition is the cake pull. Charms with different symbolic meanings are placed into a layer of the wedding cake. Before the cake is cut, single bridesmaids are given a chance to pull a ribbon and draw their “luck.”
5.Low Country Boil (Frogmore Stew) – Whether you prefer shrimp or crawfish, a low country boil will have corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage to fill your belly. Ingredients are boiled together and then traditionally dumped out onto a tablecloth of newspaper. This is a summertime favorite!
6. Religion – Southerners have religion, and then they have football. Enough said.
7. Barbeque, BBQ, Pig Pickin’ – We cook it low and slow. And we take it seriously. Vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, or whatever else you like to use, what we can agree on is that it is finger lickin’ good!
8. Tailgating – If you weren’t clear from #6 that football is important in the South, then you need to check out a Southern tailgate. Saying that we love our SEC teams would be an understatement. Ladies take our college colors to a whole other level. Fall wardrobes are always worked with SEC colors. And pearls. A tailgate is a perfect opportunity for us to show off our team spirit!
9. Manners – In the South, manners are not an option. We bless everyone’s hearts because even if we do not like you, we will be kind. We help each other. We respect each other. And we expect the same in return. Southern manners are the reason why we don’t just have men in the South, we have gentlemen.
10. New Year’s Day meal – Tradition says that on New Year’s Day Southerners should eat pork, collard greens, black eyed peas, and cornbread. Each of these foods symbolizes something that will provide good fortune and prosperity for the future. For more info on why the Southern New Year’s Meal is so important and what each food symbolizes, go to the post HERE.
In the South, tradition is everything. We do it, because we’ve always done it. We may know better in some cases, but we carry on with traditions because who we are and where we came from matters to us.
Our beliefs in spirits and fortunes may change over the years, but who we are and where we came from matters to us. And so, tradition lives on.