Black eyed peas are traditionally served on New Year's Day for good luck. Since they swell when cooked, they symbolize prosperity for the New Year. They are served with some sort of pork product, symbolizing positive forward motion, since pigs root forward when foraging for food. Also eaten on New Years are greens (turnip, mustard, or collard) which symbolize money. There are two schools of thought on the origin of this custom which was adopted around the time of the American Civil War. In one, the practice was adopted after General Sherman's troops wiped out all food supplies he came across in the South. The "field peas" were spared because the Northeners considered them only fit for animal fodder. The other thought is that the practice dates back to ancient Babylonia where the New Year's table contained Qara (calabash squash or bottle gourd), Rubiya or Lubiya (black-eyed peas), Kartei (leeks), Silka (spinach or beet greens), and Tamrei (dates) and was brought to the US in the 1730's by Sephardic Jews that settled in Georgia. The practice of eating black-eyed peas caught on around the time of the Civil War.