Every culture and many families have traditions and superstitions about foods that will ensure a prosperous New Year. With the state of the economy and financial woes most people experienced this year , it might not hurt for us to lean toward the superstitious side when planning our New Year’s celebration. So, if you don’t have any of the follwing foods in your kitchen right now, you might want to make a “good luck” run to the store!
Vegetables Associated with Good Luck for the New Year
Good Housekeeping’s Delish.com has an article by Meghan Ahearn, “Eat Yourself Lucky: Good Luck Foods for New Year’s Day” that speaks of the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on January 1st, explaining, “A common good luck food in the southern United States, black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, their shape and abundance representing coins.” Other vegetables that are considered lucky are:
Lentils – They resemble coins and are thought to bring good fortune and represent growing wealth.
Greens (kale, collards) – Being the color of money, they are thought to bring wealth and prosperity.
Cabbage – Their leaves are representative of paper money!
Pig-out during New Year’s Day Dinner!
While fish is considered lucky In North America, Asia, and Europe (it’s believed it represents moving forward), the overwhelming international choice for “good luck” meat is pork. Good Luck Creations website has a list of New Year’s traditions in their “Good Luck Traditions from around the World at New Year’s” article. They explain that a pig or hog and its meat “is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity”.
Good Luck Fruits to Eat on New Year’s Day
Many traditions include certain fruits that are believed to symbolize prosperity or good luck, such as:
Pomegranate – Associated with abundance and fertility (This could be good or bad, depending!)
Citrus – According to Ahern’s article, this started “because “tangerine” and “orange” sound much like “luck” and “wealth,” respectively, in the Chinese language”.
Grapes – Eat 12 grapes at midnight for a prosperous, sweet year! (Peruvians believe a 13th one is extra assurance!)
Good Luck Carbs
Forget the low-carb diet for one day. Make some rice pudding and hide an almond in the center. Eat noodles, but be sure to eat them whole, not broken! Many countries have traditions that include eating cakes and pastries that are baked in a ring or round shape. Eat like the French do, and eat a stack of pancakes for good luck. Indulge in a donut, since the Dutch believe that this sugary treat’s circular shape is lucky!
Bad Luck Food Warnings for New Year
Using the information from both these websites and their readers’ comments, we are cautioned regarding certain foods NOT to eat as well, so read up!
*Some people believe that we should not eat anything white, because white represents death. However in Sicily eating lasanga is lucky (but not macaroni). In further opposition to this warning, as mentioned, many cultures swear that eating rice creates good luck in the new year. Your call.
*One reader warns us not to eat chicken or anything with wings as this might make our good luck fly away. In agreement with this reader, another one expands this superstition to include fish and focuses on timing. He suggests that we eat fish for good luck before midnight, but not on New Year’s day which might make our good luck SWIM away!
*We are advised NOT to clean our plates. Leaving that last bite is believed to assure that you will have food on your plate for the rest of the year.
How to Put it all Together for a Lucky New Year
Okay, to summarize it all up, what would the luckiest New Year food plan be? (Don’t forget to leave a bite on your plate!)
1. At midnight, have everyone toast with champagne, open all the windows (so bad luck will fly out and good luck will fly in), and then pop 12 grapes plus one more, just to be sure.
2. For New Year’s day breakfast, bring out the donuts or serve up a stack of pancakes, and blend up a pomegranate and berry smoothie.
3. For lunch or dinner on New Year’s Day, create a dinner or buffet that includes:
*Pork Roast or ham for the main course.
*Vegetable soup made with ham hock, black eyed peas, lentils, greens and cabbage
*Cabbage cooked in bacon or pork drippings
*A citrus salad such as this Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
4. For desert, make rice pudding (don’t forget that almond) or orange upside-down cake.
You never know, with all this good luck food in everyone’s tummy, this New Year’s celebration may kick off a great year! Happy New Year’s wishes to all my readers! Be safe and fill up with lucky food! Then hit the gym on January 2nd!
“How to Display Party Food”
“Easy Decorating for New Year’s Eve 2010”
“Drinking Games for New Year’s Eve”
“New Year’s Safety Guide”
Good Luck Creations website
Good Housekeeping’s Delish website