2017 is just around the corner and irrespective of which part of the globe you’re in, the excitement and the thrill of having survived another trip around the Sun, will get to you. While drinks and merry-making is big part of New Year’s Eve celebrations, food holds an altogether different significance in the rituals of the last day of the year.
There are several food traditions around the world, which are followed by different cultures and are believed to bring in good luck in the new year. While some of this food is consumed before the clock strikes midnight to mark the death of the year, some others are considered auspicious as a part of the first meal of the first day of the
You can try these foods on New Year’s Eve for a lucky 2017.
Green Vegetables- Green vegetables like spinach, kale are considered lucky on New Year’s eve, because in a lot of countries, it’s the colour of their currency. Moreover, they are also healthy, nutritious and will not put to waste, the diet you have meticulously maintained, over the pats few months. Beans, like greens, resemble money; more specifically, they symbolize coins. Whether you choose black beans, lentils, or black-eyes peas, healthy fiber-filled beans will help soak up that champagne. Try Lentil, Roasted Red Pepper, and Spinach Salad with Walnuts, Olives, and Sherry Vinaigrette.
Lentils-Lentils are a part of South Indian New Year’s traditions as well, and are usually eaten with rice, during the celebration of the Hindu New Year, which typically falls in spring. It’s interesting to note, that lentils symbolize- money, in Italy as well as Brazil, and hence are considered lucky when consumed on the last day of the year. A popular New Year’s meal in Italy is Cotechino con Lenticchie (green lentils with sausage) because of the legume’s greenish color and coin-like appearance. Deeper into the myth: When cooked, lentils plump with water, symbolizing growing wealth. Lentils are also considered good luck in Hungary, where they’re preferred in a soup.
Grapes- According to the Spanish and Portuguese beliefs, eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight is auspicious. Each grape they eat, symbolizes one month of the year gone by, or the months that are to come in the new year. Mexicans also follow this tradition, with the belief that the month that was symbolized by a sour grape is going to be a bad month and is something they should look out for, and plan around.
For most, the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight, but Peruvians insist on a 13th grape for good measure.
If any of the 12 grapes you pop into your mouth is sour or bitter, it is believed that the corresponding month will hold strife or troubles.
Pomegranate-Pomegranates represent good luck in Turkey for many reasons: Their red color, which represents the human heart, denotes life and fertility; their medicinal properties represent health; and their abundant, round seeds represent prosperity—all things everyone hopes for in any fresh start. The Greek have the tradition of smashing a pomegranate fruit on the floor and count the seeds. These seeds symbolize luck for them, and they believe that the more seeds the smashed fruit has, the more luck the new year will bring.
Fish- Fish on New Year’s Eve is like turkey on Thanksgiving. Fish are believed to be lucky because their scales resemble coins, and they swim in schools which invoke the idea of abundance. Each New Year’s, foodies around the world devour specific foods to summon good luck for the next 365 days. While some traditions call for fruit and others call for noodles, all the edibles connote forward movement, prosperity and health.
Danish eat boiled cod, while in Italy, dried salt cod is enjoyed from Christmas through New Year’s. Herring, another frequently preserved fish, is consumed at midnight in Poland and Germany. The Swedish New Year feast is usually a smorgasbord with a variety of fish dishes, and in Japan, herring roe is consumed for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for a good harvest.
Eating whole fish is hence, considered a harbinger of riches in the year to come. They also swim forwards, symbolizing the attitude of progress. They also swim in groups (called schools) which is a sign of abundance and togetherness. Moreover, they are also healthy, as they are packed with proteins and heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
Long noodles- Noodles are symbols of long life, and grains like rice, quinoa, and barley stand for abundance. A number of Asian countries including China and Japan believe in the custom of eating long noodles to signify longevity on New Year’s Day. Keep in mind that the noodles aren’t meant to be broken or shortened during the cooking process, so opt for a gentle cooking method like a stir-fry to keep them intact. Even while eating them, you’ll have to slurp—biting into them or chewing them goes against the custom—to ensure you don’t break the length of a noodle, because if you do, it’s considered bad luck.
Cake with a coin- A New Year’s eve without a cake is anyways incomplete. In Greece, a coin is baked in a delicate chocolate cake and whoever find the coin in their piece of cake, is considered extremely lucky.
Eating ring-shaped food like onion rings, doughnuts, or ring cakes, for New Year’s eve dinner or the first breakfast of the new year is considered lucky, as it symbolizes life coming full circle.
Black Eyed Peas- In the South Americas, a dish made of black-eyed peas and rice is considered lucky, as the peas resemble coins (more money!). The dish is called Hoppin’ John or Carolina Peas and Rice.