Lucky foods for the new year

Eating traditional foods that are thought to bring good luck seems more necessary than ever today as the world rings in 2021. Which foods are considered lucky varies from country to country and even from region to region. Grapes play an important role in Spain, where revelers consume 12 grapes just as the clock strikes midnight, each grape representing a coming month in the new year. If you get a sour grape, it might represent a rocky month. This ritual has been happening for over 100 years and has spread to nearby Portugal as well as former Spanish and Portuguese colonies.

Beans and greens are other traditional New Year’s foods. It’s thought that the greens represent paper money and the beans resemble coins (as in the Lowcountry hoppin’ John from Heritage by Sean Brock pictured above), so eating a large quantity will increase your fortune in the coming year. These two foods can be found in the rituals of many cultures. Other cultures use different legumes like lentils in place of the black eyed peas used in the US South. Other round foods like oranges and apples also represent money and therefore good fortune for the upcoming year.

When it comes to meat, several cultures prefer serving pork over chicken or beef on New Year’s Day because pigs dig with their snout, representing forward movement or progress, while chickens scratch backward and cows stand still. Especially this year, we all want to move forward as the calendar turns to January! Are you eating a traditional ‘lucky’ meal this New Year’s Day?

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  • Rinshin  on  January 1, 2021

    Long life foods on New Years Eve in Japan is soba. Now, it seems any long noodles including ramen and udon.

  • blackgirlcooking  on  January 2, 2021

    Great article. Nothing but lucky foods for the new year

  • Commmywhixx  on  January 11, 2021

    Your recipes are great 💓

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