Everyone is familiar with the tradition of popping open a bottle of champagne on New Year’s Eve. But do you know what you should eat the next day to bring luck in the year to come? Here are eight traditional menu options that many swear will guarantee prosperity and happiness until it’s time to raise that New Year’s Eve toast again.
1. Black Eyed Peas
In the American Southeast these tasty legumes are often cooked into a stew known as “Hoppin’ John”. Black eyed peas swell when cooked and their expansion symbolizes a prosperous year ahead.
Soak up the juices from your Hoppin’ John with a piece of delicious yellow cornbread. It resembles a gold brick and represents wealth in the coming year.
3. Collards and Other Cooked Greens
Greens, along with black-eyed peas and cornbread, make up the third piece of the Southern table’s New Year’s Day lucky trifecta. These cool-weather garden favorites resemble the money, or “greenbacks,” that those who eat them hope to see in the year to come.
Though they celebrate the New Year on a different day than the West, the Chinese eat oranges, which they say look like gold and bring prosperity.
In most of the Spanish-speaking world, twelve grapes are consumed, either in the twelve hours leading up to midnight on New Year’s Eve or in the first twelve seconds of the new year. The sweetness of each grape is said to represent how sweet each of the twelve coming months will be.
In Turkey, pomegranates–a medicinal plant with abundant seeds and a vibrant red color–are eaten on New Year’s Day to bring on health, fertility, and prosperity.
7. Round Fruits
In the Philippines, the New Year’s Day table is set with twelve round fruits–anything from apples to plums to kiwis to grapes. Their shape is said to stand for coins and consuming them leads to wealth in the year to come.
Many cultures eat lentils on New Year’s Day. The tiny beans also represent coins and are small enough that many can be consumed in a few bites of a stew. They signify the great wealth those who eat them hope to see in the New Year.
Try some of these delicious fruits and vegetables this New Year’s Day. They’re a healthy and scrumptious way to make the year ahead a lucky one! For more great food ideas click here.