9 Foods to Eat on New Year’s for Good Luck

Even though I’m Southern, I’m not a superstitious person, which is almost enough to get my southern card revoked, however, on New Year’s Eve and Day, you’ll find me giving in to superstitions — I mean following family traditions involving certain foods.
Down here in the South if you happen to be at the grocery store on the afternoon of December 31st in the fresh produce section you’ll see people staring at empty shelves with wide eyes, panicked faces and a sheen of sweat on their foreheads. It doesn’t pay to wait until the last minute to get your lucky food fixins.

There’s something about January 1st that causes even the most cynical of people to give in to old wives tales and take bites of foods they normally wouldn’t allow to cross the threshold of their homes, much less pass their lips.



Whether you’re a dyed in the wool southerner who fears their ancestors turning over in their graves if you don’t have at least a bite of collard greens and blackeyed peas, or from another part of the world whose traditions/superstitions involve Soba Noodles or Grapes, here are 9 foods that are believed to bring good luck in the New Year if eaten on New Year’s Day.

  • Ring Shaped Foods 1 of 9
    Ring Shaped Foods
    If you're looking for a lucky snack or breakfast on New Year's Day, think bagels and doughnuts or other ring shaped foods. The ring shape represents the year coming full circle. Image via grongar on flickr
  • Pomegranate 2 of 9
    In Greece, when the New Year comes, they smash a pomegranate on the floor in front of a door to break it open and reveal the seeds which represent prosperity and luck, the more seeds on the floor the better the New Year. Image via Stevendepolo on flickr
  • 12 Grapes at Midnight 3 of 9
    12 Grapes at Midnight
    In many Latin cultures, they eat 12 grapes at midnight; one at each stroke of the clock to symbolize the 12 months of the year. It's said that the flavor of the grape is believed to represent the way the month will go - For Example: if the first grape is sour, January will be a 'sour' ,month.
  • Blackeyed Peas 4 of 9
    Blackeyed Peas
    In the South, Blackeyed peas are eaten on New Years to ensure prosperity for the New Year. When the dried peas are soaked and then cooked, they swell which is supposed to represent prosperity for the New Year. Southern Style Blackeyed Peas and Hoppin' John are two traditional southern blackeyed pea recipes often served on New Years.
  • Round Fruits 5 of 9
    Round Fruits
    If you're looking for sweetness in your upcoming year, eat round fruits. Round fruits are shaped like coins, yay money! and their sweetness is supposed to represent sweet things in the upcoming year.
  • Leafy Greens 6 of 9
    Leafy Greens
    Collard Greens are the most traditional leafy green eaten on New Year's in the south. The leafy greens resembling money, and meant to bring prosperity to the eater. Paula Deen's Collard Greens Image via Glory Foods on flickr
  • Lentils 7 of 9
    If you're not from the south, or you don't care for blackeyed peas, you might prefer lentils for your prosperity bringing legume for the New Year. Lentils are round like coins and swell up when cooked, representing wealth and prosperity. Image via Lablascomenu on flickr
  • Soba Noodles 8 of 9
    Soba Noodles
    Get ready to slurp up some long noodles, but don't break it! In many Asian countries, long noodles like Soba, are eaten on New Year's Day, in order to bring long life. Just don't break the noodle! Image via Yoppy on flickr
  • Cornbread 9 of 9
    The wonderful rich gold color of cornbread is representative of gold, and oftentimes people will add kernels of corn to their cornbread to increase the 'richness' of their cornbread, and hopefully their entire year. Image via WhitneyinChicago on flickr A Traditional Cast Iron Cornbread recipe from A Homesick Texan

What are your New Year traditions, superstitions, must eat/drink or do?  I’d love to hear them!

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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