Families and friends have a variety of traditions that they practice during the New Year to bring about good fortune. So many traditions in various areas of the world center around food. While many of the foods people will traditionally eat represent something specific such as wealth that they would like to attain in the new year, other items play to superstitions. Are you looking for a little luck this year? You might want to add some of these items to your menu on New Year’s Eve!
The number of pieces of fruit and even the type may vary depending on where you live but generally, round fruit is a staple food eaten for luck in the new year. The round shape is popular due to its resemblance to a coin and the fact that fruit is sweet helps its popularity as well. In Spain, Mexico, and Portugal, people will traditionally try to eat 12 grapes as the clock rings at midnight. The 12 grapes are meant to symbolize the 12 months of the year. Yet in the Philippines, if they choose to eat grapes, they would eat 13 of them, as it is considered a lucky number. The pomegranate is another popular fruit to consume because it represents prosperity with its many seeds inside. Figs are the fruit to eat if you are trying for a baby in the coming year because they represent fertility.
Pork is considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity and has become a traditional dish for many people on New Years. You may have heard the phrase “high on the hog” before which refers to the different cuts of pork. Higher cuts of meat, such as the shoulder or loin, would normally be reserved for the more wealthy, while the cuts of meat that were “low on the hog” such as the pork belly, would be left for the poor. Therefore, this rich meat has come to be associated with prosperity and is often consumed during the New Year.
Several countries such as Austria, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, and Cuba, consider the pig to symbolize progress which is why pork is a popular dish for the holiday. The pig came to represent progress from the way that it eats. The animal tends to push its snout forward on the ground to root for food, and thus the symbolism of moving forward came about. Don’t worry if you don’t enjoy eating pork or meat though. You can still get a little luck by sharing pig shaped foods, such as a cookie, instead.
Beans And Lentils
Black-eyed peas are possibly one of the more well-known dishes shared during the holiday which are eaten as well as other lentils because they represent prosperity. Their symbolism goes back all the way to the time of the Romans, who also enjoyed them for luck. They are said to resemble coins, thus making them a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
Yet another symbol of prosperity is the fish. Their scales are said to resemble coins which makes them a symbol of wealth but they are also known to present progress like pork does. This comes from the fact that fish swim forward. Fish also travel together in schools giving the idea of abundance. Eating a whole fish is important in China because having the head and tail still intact means that the diner will enjoy a good year from beginning to end.
It would seem that most people are looking to gain more wealth in the New Year and are willing to consume various foods that could bring that dream to fruition. So, of course, when aiming for more money you will want to add plenty of greens to your plate. The idea is that the greens are representative of paper money, so it can’t hurt to add a little extra on your plate this year!
There are many more foods that people in various cultures around the world enjoy to bring about good luck and fortune in the coming year. Whatever you choose to dine on this holiday we think sharing it with family and friends will bring you the most happiness and fortune. Happy New Year!