For many the start of a new year is all about making a fresh start. For others it’s a time of tradition. Either way, why not start your year with some of these foods considered to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
Here’s a round up of some of the best know New Years Eve traditions from around the world:
Hoppin’ John— A traditional southern New Year’s dish —black eyed peas and ham hocks. An old saying goes, “Eat peas on New Year’s day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year.”
Grapes – consume 12 at midnight. Each grape represents a different month, so if the 3rd
grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month. This tradition hails from Spain in 1909 by grape growers who were trying to create a market for left over grapes.
Noodles– In Asia, eating long noodles is believed to bring a long life. The New Year’s Day tradition has the person eating the noodle without breaking it until it is all in your mouth.
Seafood – In Japan, herring roe is consumed for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for a good harvest
Open the Doors- It’s a common superstition that opening the doors and windows will let the old year out, and the new year in unimpeded.
Donuts – The Dutch love to eat a donut on New Year’s Day because they believe that the circular food item symbolizes the full circle of life.
Greens – their leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The tradition implies that the more kale, cabbage, collards and chard you eat, the larger your fortunes will be.
Pork– pigs symbolize progress & its rich fat content signifies wealth and prosperity. Roast suckling pig is served for New Year’s in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria and Austrians are known to decorate the table with miniature pigs made of marzipan.
Hanging Onions– No, this New Year’s Eve tradition has nothing to do with vampires. Rather, the Greeks believe that onions are a symbol of rebirth, and so they hang the pungent vegetable on their doors in order to promote growth throughout the new year. Greek culture has long associated this food with the idea of development, seeing as all the odorous onion ever seemingly wants is to plant its roots and keep growing.
Pomegranates – are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for luck in the new year. It is symbolic of abundance and fertility.progress & its rich fat content signifies wealth and prosperity. Roast suckling pig is served for New Year’s in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria and Austrians are known to decorate the table with miniature pigs made of marzipan.
Citrus– In China, oranges and tangerines are placed on the table for the New Years meal. This could be because “orange” and “tangerine” sound very much like “wealth” and “luck” in the Chinese language.
Cakes– Round shaped cakes and breads are eaten all over the world on New Years day- a symbol of coming full circle. In most countries, a coin or a trinket is hidden inside the cake. The recipient to get that slice is said to have good fortune all year long.
What Not to Eat:
Just as there are lucky foods, there are also some foods that carry the stigma of bringing bad luck, so be warned:
Lobster– they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks
Chicken– they scratch for food so those who eat poultry will “scratch” for food all year.
Winged fowl– because good luck could fly away!
White foods – The Chinese avoid eggs, cheese, and tofu, because white is the color of death.
This New Year’s Eve, it is almost inevitable that you will hear (and possibly try to sing) “Auld Lang Syne,” a song whose melody is synonymous with the new year (and the theme of change more broadly). It is used traditionally to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new year at the stroke of midnight, or throughout the night, each New Year’s Eve. The song is also sometimes used on significant ceremonial occasions like graduations and funerals.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot And days of auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take the cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take the cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!