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 food traditions:
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
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.
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.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!
This is an update of a story was originally published on 12/30/2010.