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New Year's Food Traditions

Updated: Feb 27

No matter who you, are or where you're from, sharing food not only represents friendship but can also symbolize other special meanings. This is especially true when welcoming the New Year!

A photo of a beautiful turquoise colored table with a bowl of food at the center and three individual hands reaching in for a bite.

All over the world, certain food traditions are believed to bring good luck for the upcoming year.

In the Southwestern United States, there's a traditional dish called "Hoppin' John" that is served for the New Year. It is a dish of pork with field peas or black-eyed peas (symbolizing coins) and rice, often served with collards (the color of money) and cornbread (the color of gold).

In Spain, as the clock strikes midnight, the tradition is to eat one grape each time that the clock chimes, they believe that it represents good luck for each month of the upcoming year. If they get a sour grape, they believe that to be a sign that the corresponding month won't be so great.

The Netherlands considers "Olliebollen" a celebratory tradition for the New Year. Similar to donuts, these are balls of dough containing currants or raisins that are fried and then dusted with powdered sugar. Olliebollen means oil balls, so they're probably not too healthy, but they sure sound yummy!

Austria and neighboring Germany call New Year's Eve "Sylvesterabend", or the eve of Saint Sylvester. What's interesting, is that Sylvester was a Roman who died on December 31st 335. Rumor has it, he choked on fish bones, so to be safe, no one eats fish that night. Instead, they enjoy a red wine punch with cinnamon and spices, eat suckling pig, and decorate the table with little pigs made of marzipan called "marzipanschwein."

It's soba noodles for Japan to bid farewell to the year gone by and to welcome the year to come. This is because, in Japan, they believe that long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity. (Sounds good to me! Bring on the pasta!)

"Cotechino con lenticchie" is the traditional sausage and lentil stew that is said to bring good luck when eaten on New Year's Eve in Italy. Comfort food at its finest.

It's all about pickled herring if you're in Poland and Scandinavia; they serve it rolled in vinegar with onions and pickles. Because the herring is silver, it is believed to bring a year of prosperity and bounty if eaten at the very stroke of midnight.

A cake called "Kransekage" is made for New Year's Eve and other special occasions in both Denmark and Norway. It's a cool-looking cake with individual rings of cake stacked on top of each other to form a tower. Often, there is a bottle of wine at the center, and they decorate it with ornaments, flags, and crackers.

Originally from Pennsylvania, my grandmother always made roast pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day. Consuming pork and sauerkraut are an age-old German tradition that is said to bring good luck and well-being in the year to come. There are theories about this meal that include that the long shreds of sauerkraut symbolize a long life, and the fact that cabbage is green like money, symbolizes wealth. The pig is considered good luck because it roots forward for food and isn't able to turn its head to the side or look behind itself, symbolizing the attitude of looking ahead into the new year and the things to come, rather than focusing on what has already happened ... I think I like that!

Whatever you enjoy for your New Year's meal, I wish you good health, much joy, and abundant prosperity for the year ahead!

Check out this cookbook I found for New Year's celebrations and traditions!

Published by Jennifer Tipton / This post may contain affiliate links.

2 comentários

I didn't eat any of these....I think I had nuts. LOL


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01 de jan.

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