On New Year’s Day, superstitious people all over the world prepare foods thought to bring good luck and a prosperous new year. Make sure these foods are included in your holiday spread to welcome the new year.
In Spain and Portugal, 12 grapes are eaten as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve—one grape for each chime of the clock and month of the year. Good luck will come to those who down the whole dozen before the final chime sounds. Each grape represents a different month, so if the 3rd grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month.
Fish is lucky for a couple of reasons. Its scales resemble money and fish swim in schools which invoke the idea of abundance. There are also plenty of nutritional benefits. Fatty fish (salmon and tuna) are filled with Omega-3s and leaner fish (tilapia and sole) are a great source of protein.
In many Asian countries, long noodles are eaten on New Year’s Day in order to bring a long life. One catch: You can’t break the noodle before it is all in your mouth. Noodles and grains (rice, quinoa, barley) are symbols of long life and abundance respectively.
Beans, like greens, also resemble money. More specifically, they symbolize coins. Whether you choose black beans, lentils or black-eyes peas, try some healthy fiber-filled beans to soak up that champagne.
Pigs are a lucky symbol because they root forward and are rotund, which symbolize wealth and prosperity. Pork, beans and greens are often combined in a dish called Hoppin’ John for New Year’s Eve.
Long associated with abundance and fertility, pomegranates are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for luck in the New Year.
While these all symbolize prosperity, there are equally as many foods that don’t.
What Not to Eat:
Lobster, for instance, is a bad idea because 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. According to many cultures, anything with wings is a no-no for New Years cause it could fly away taking all your luck with it.
The color white is symbol of death in Chinese culture so avoid eggs, tofu and white cheese. Above all don’t clean your plate thoroughly— many cultures believe that leaving a little leftover food on your plate will usher in a year of plenty.
So now you know how to set your table to bring in the best in 2014 and that’s exactly what we wish you all in the new year! Cheers!