New Year’s is celebrated across the globe and with it, you’ll find a variety of food traditions that typically symbolize luck, prosperity, and good health for the next 12 months. In fact, it seems that most cultures seem to agree that if if you want to start things off on a good note, your first meal of the year is where to start.
Regardless of whether or not you follow the lore surrounding these auspicious foods, returning to them year after year can be a cherished tradition. Discover some of the most popular New Year’s foods below and then fill up on them to make 2023 a roaring success.
Similarly, collards, cabbage, and other hardy winter greens are also thought to bring prosperity because they have the same color as paper currency.
Some say beans and peas (especially black-eyed peas) are lucky because they look like coins, while others point to the fact that they grow in size when cooked, suggesting abundance and good things to come.
Before refrigeration, the slaughter of a pig was a winter tradition and often one of the few times fresh pork could be enjoyed. These days, festive pork-based dishes are a remnant that marks the season.
There are a few interpretations around the luckiness of fish: that they are forward moving, their silvery skin looks like money, or that catching one means good fortune—in northern European countries this is especially associated with small fish like herring and sardines.
Tamales are symbolic because they typically contain other lucky ingredients, like pork and corn. But moreover, making them is usually a family affair, especially when spending time with loved ones for the holidays.