As people the world over prepare to ring in the new year, many are gearing up for the proverbial holiday feast. Superstitions run high over what foods bring luck and wealth for the year to come, and there are plenty of those even in the non-superstitious circles that make sure to have some form of lucky meal on New Year’s Day. So what will be on plates come the first night of the new year?
For the southern United States, it seems that greens, cornbread, and black-eyed peas are that first nutritious dinner. According to local superstitions, the peas symbolize pennies. Of course, leafy greens would be paper money, and cornbread stands in for gold. All-in-all, it seems the healthy, wealthy plate brings in luck.
For many the world over, pork ushers in progress. Pigs don’t travel backwards, always rooting forward for food. This is why pork symbolizes progress for the coming year, and loading up on those pork chops or pork roasts makes sure that the cultural symbolism continues that forward motion.
Many Grecian households will be holding an impromptu Gallagher show. Pomegranates are smashed to pieces on the floor, hurled at high speeds. This is because the pomegranate seeds symbolize fertility for field, crop, and house. Smashing the fruit releases a flood of superstitious intention for luck!
In Asia, many households will be having some form of noodles or rice. It’s thought that eating long noodles without them breaking will ensure a life long and happy. Rice, like seeds, is a symbol of fertility. This combined with dishes composed of fish, silver scaled to symbolize wealth, will bring a host of luck to the plates of many.
Cake is another lucky food for the New Year. Ring cakes, in particular, are said to bring a well-rounded dose of good luck. Many cakes have coins baked into them (quite like the Mardi Gras King Cake), and the person who finds it will then get an extra dose of luck for good measure. So, let them eat cake!
There are many delicious options for a New Year’s Day menu, and plenty of them will bring luck for the coming year. Superstitious or not, it certainly can’t hurt to eat for luck and prosperity.