Do you have a favorite food that you eat on New Year’s day? For many of us in the USA, there are one or two foods that we try to eat on or around the beginning of the year. But the list of lucky New Year’s foods is quite long, if you start to look for origins outside of your own country. Many of these lucky new year foods are thought to bring one type of good luck or another in the coming year.
For so many of us, January 1 gives us an opportunity to close the door on the events of the previous year and to move forward with a clean slate. To make sure that your new year has a chance for some extra success, why not enjoy a meal that is supposed to increase your good fortune in some ways.
There are many foods, from various cultural traditions that are believed to increase wealth, happiness and longevity for the coming year. These traditions vary, but it is surprising how many of them overlap.
Enjoy Prosperity with these Lucky New Year Foods
Here are my menu choices for lucky new year foods that are “guaranteed” to give you a Happy New year. Even if they do not work, at least your belly will be happy!
For Luck: From Spain – it is considered that if you eat 12 sweet grapes, one for each month of the year, you will have 12 lucky months. Be sure to choose sweet ones, since Spanish tradition also holds that sour grapes deliver a not so lucky month! If you are looking for a way to use grapes to get your luck, try this coconut chocolate dessert with grapes.
For Wealth: This lucky new year foods idea comes from my grandmother and is similar to the tradition that eating greens will ensure wealth for the year because green is the color of greenbacks. As far back as I can remember, my grandmother made split pea soup for New Year’s day because it made sure the year would be a wealthy one. It worked for her. Not so much for me or my family members, but, to this day, we all make split pea soup on New Year’s day.
Many other traditions like this say that any type of greens work, such as kale, or collards, or spinach and also any lentils because of their round shape. They just need to be green or yellow for green backs or coins!
Cornbread is also considered to be lucky for the New year because it is the color of gold. Add 12 extra corn nuggets in the batter to make sure that the money keeps on rolling in for the whole year. Get my cornbread recipe here.
For Good Luck from Start to Finish: Since foods baked in a circle “come full circle”, eating donuts, bagels and round cakes are thought to bring luck full circle, from the beginning to the end of the year. What a great excuse to eat a donut!
Any ring shaped cakes (especially if they are baked with good luck charms inside) will also bring luck full circle, so dust off that bundt pan. See my pistachio bundt cake recipe here.
For One Person’s Good Luck: Have fun with your family and treat one of them to an extra dose of good luck. Bake a cake (be sure it is round!) and add a lucky coin into the batter. The person who gets this piece of cake will be especially lucky this year!
This idea comes from Germany. German folklore tells us that eating a pickled herring at the stoke of midnight on New Year’s Eve will bring a year of wealth. The tradition comes from the deep silver color of the fish which is supposed to imitate coins.
A second tradition that is supposed to insure 12 months of wealth is to eat 12 round fruits, one for each month of the year. This is because round fruits are supposed to look like coins. Bring on those 12 slices of orange or lemons!
For a stocked Pantry: The Germans also believe that leaving a little bit of food on the plate after the stroke of midnight will mean that your pantry will be stocked in full all year long. Also bring in some new foods for your pantry so that it is well stocked for the year to give you extra abundance.
For Happiness: Ham, because of it’s “fat” is considered to be a lucky new years food that will make you rich with happiness for the coming year. Try my ham and vegetable casserole. I can at least guarantee that the recipe will make you happy!
For Abundance and success: This tradition comes from China. In Chinese, the word for Fish sounds like the word for abundance, so the Chinese like to eat whole fish as one of their lucky new year’s day foods to ensure success for the coming year. They believe that for this tradition to work, the fish must be served with the head and tail intact.
For a Long Life: Japanese people believe that eating Soba, or buckwheat noodles, at the stock on Midnight on December 31 will ensure a long life. Be sure to choose the longest noodles that you can find to add a few extra years!
For Progress: Next in my list of lucky new year foods is a favorite of mine. It is thought that if you eat pork in the new year, you will ensure a year of progress. The idea behind this is because pigs use their snout to move forward and rarely move backwards. Here is a great recipe that doubles up on the pork for extra progress – Bacon wrapped pork medallions. Get the recipe here.
And while we are talking about moving forward, superstition also holds that you should not eat these foods or do these things on New Year’s day:
- Lobsters, because they move backwards and
- Chickens, because they scratch backwards.
- Be sure that NOTHING goes out of the house, not even garbage. The belief is that
the year must begin with something’s being added to the home before anything subtracts from it.
After all, we want the coming year to be one of moving forward to all good things don’t we?
If you love to read about good luck superstitions, this Kindle book might interest you. It is called Get Lucky by Liz Yetter and is available from our affiliate Amazon. (affiliate link)
It is not just food that is reputed to bring luck to your home. Plants can have the same significance. The braided money tree plant is a great indoor plant that is said to bring luck and prosperity to your home. The braided trunk locks in the luck! See how to grow a money tree plant here.
Do you have other lucky new year foods that you try to eat on New Year’s day? What are they?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."