January 1 is a day of new beginnings! If you’re taking the opportunity to get on track with healthful resolutions, here are a few lucky foods to help you start the year off with as much promise and good karma as possible. Feast upon some or all of these foods on New Year’s Day, and it is said that luck will come to you for the whole year round! Eat extra auspiciously this New Year’s by building your menu around these lucky foods.
Not only does fish have a number of health benefits any day of the week, it’s also extra lucky to eat on New Year’s! In many countries around the world, including Germany, Sweden, and Japan, eating fish – particularly cod – on or near the new year is as traditional as turkey on Thanksgiving in America. In some places, it’s even common to keep a few fish scales in your pocket after the new year’s celebration is over to keep the good luck coming.
Legumes like beans and lentils often represent money, and when consumed, it’s supposed to be a sign of financial reward coming your way. Split pea soup and sausage is a traditional dish eaten in Europe on New Year’s, and is a particularly lucky meal since pork is also a good luck food to consume!
At 12 midnight in Spain and some other European and South American countries, some revelers will consume 12 grapes that each represent one month out of the year, and each stroke of the clock! Each grape’s flavor is said to be indicative of that month’s fortunes – if the 4th grape is a bit sour, for example, April may be a less fortunate month. The goal is to eat all 12 grapes before the clock’s last chime.
In many places, pigs symbolize progress because of their tendency to dig their hooves into the ground firmly with every step so that they always have firm footing. In addition, its high fat content associates pork to wealth and prosperity, which makes it doubly auspicious. Roast suckling pig is a common celebratory food around the world, as are sausages, and pork loin.
Cakes of all kinds, particularly bundt cakes and round cakes, are a great sign of luck and prosperity! This is partially why yule logs and bûche de noël is commonly eaten around the holidays, and why it’s the dessert of choice for birthdays. Some places enjoy a nice fruit cake on New Year’s, and in others, it’s common to bake a little coin or trinket inside of the cake that will bring extra luck and prosperity to whoever receives it.
Photo Credits: My Recipes, Organic Gardening and Farming, Former Chef, Eating China, Prudhqjia