10 Lucky Foods for the New Year

27 Dec

Happy Soon-to-Be 2013!

It’s that time again to start fresh and stick to those New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, be a better person or any other resolution of your fancy, January 1st is the time to begin. During this time many wish for good luck and prosperity, and it is believed by many cultures that certain foods will achieve this. Below are 10 foods to fill up on:

Lentils and Coins

Black-Eyed Peas:
These beans are thought to bring prosperity if consumed at Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (source). Symbolic of coins, black-eyed peas are also consumed on New Year’s Day in the Southern United States as a token of good luck (source).

The consumption of cabbage and other greens on New Year’s Eve and Day has been a tradition in the United States for years and is thought to have originated in the south. The green leaves represent dollar bills and are said to bring wealth (source).

In Greece, what is commonly referred to as Vasilopita, is served on New Year’s Day. This special cake often contains a hidden coin, and the person who finds it is said to be brought good luck. In addition, the cutting of the cake is said to bless the house and bring general good luck throughout the year (source). In Chinese culture, the New Year will be celebrated on February 10th, 2013. On this special day, they, too will eat cake, which they refer to as Nian Gao, a homonym for “higher year” (source).

Paring well with black-eyed peas and greens, cornbread represents gold due to its color and is commonly consumed in the Southern United States on New Year’s in order to bring wealth (source).

The Twelve Grapes of Luck is a Spanish tradition said to bring prosperity in the coming year. At midnight on New Year’s Eve when the clock strikes twelve, one is to eat a single grape per each of the twelve strokes of midnight. Should one successfully eat all twelve grapes by the time the clock stops chiming, he/she should have twelve months of good luck (source).

Kumquats, Oranges and Tangerines:
In Chinese culture, kumquats, oranges and tangerines symbolize good fortune, happiness and wealth. The word kum in kumquat is similar to the Chinese word for gold which is why these fruits are consumed for luck (source).

In Brazil and Italy, the flat, round shape of lentils resembles little coins and therefore, lentils are said to bring good fortune during the new year. They are often prepared and consumed on New Year’s Eve (source).

Long Noodles:
Various Asian countries believe that long noodles (Soba in particular) signify longevity and long life. Also referred to as toshikoshi soba, this tradition occurs on New Year’s Eve (source).

In China, peaches are said to bring abundance, luck and protection (source). Their blossoms are used to decorate for the New Year as they signify vitality. In past Chinese culture, those who administer the law would place peach wood branches over doorways on New Year’s Eve to protect against evil (source).

During Rosh Hashanah, pomegranates are often consumed as they are believed to increase one’s merits or worth. The seeds represent good deeds or mitzvah that are to come in the New Year (source). Pomegranates are also eaten in Turkey and Greek cultures during the New Year as they are associated with fertility (source).

From my home to yours, have a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year!

2 Responses to “10 Lucky Foods for the New Year”

  1. Food Stories December 29, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Love your post – Happy Holidays 🙂

    • megmeister December 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Why, thank you. And Happy Holidays to you as well! =)

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