Every country around the globe has their own traditions around New Year's - what to wear, what to say, and perhaps most especially, what to eat for a particularly lucky year! People everywhere will start off 2014 with as much good karma as possible by partaking in these fine holiday traditions; does your family have any New Year's traditions that they observe?
Grapes In some parts of Western Europe and South America, it's traditional to eat 12 grapes as the clock chimes down to midnight - one for each month of the year. The forecast for fortune each month comes from how sweet the corresponding grape tastes.
Roasted Grape, Blue Cheese, & Honey Crostini from Two Peas & Their Pod
Lentils In Italy, lentils are considered a lucky food for the new year! Because of the green coloration and coin-like shape, eating lentils is supposed to represent fortune and money; further, the way that lentils plump up in water represents growing wealth.
Avocado Lentil Salad from 101 Cookbooks
Pork Pork chops, bacon, sausage, ham, and virtually every other food that includes pork is considered especially lucky to eat on New Year's. Part of this is because pigs are round and plump, which is a good indicator of prosperity. Additionally, because they root forward, they are said to symbolize progress!
Pork Chops with Braised Cabbage from Simply Recipes
Buckwheat Noodles Long, unbroken buckwheat noodles are a great indicator of luck and fortune in a new year! Their length represents the longevity of your life, and thus, slurping up a bowl of noodles will supposedly help you live longer and happier.
Bibim Nengmyun - Buckwheat Noodles Tossed with Hot Pepper Sauce from Spoon, Fork, Bacon
Hoppin' John In the southern US, Hoppin' John is a dish that's meant to indicate fortune and luck! It generally consists of black eyed peas and greens of all kinds from collards to kale, all of which symbolize wealth in both color (green) and shape (coins). Some traditions hold that the more beans in the serving of Hoppin' John you eat, the more luck you'll have!
Hoppin’ John Bowl With Red Hot Tahini from Post Punk Kitchen
Steamed Fish A simple, whole steamed fish on New Year's Day is a particularly lucky option to have on New Year's! It's best if the fish is served whole, head and tail intact, as this most adequately represents the beginning and end of a new year; and, since the scales of the fish symbolize coins, you'll want to leave these on too before serving!
Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce from Steamy Kitchen
Leafy Greens You can't forget about those greens on New Year's! Leafy greens resemble the color and look of paper money, and as such, eating plenty of greens on the first day of the year will increase your prosperity. Any kind of greens, from collards and kale, will do the trick, so just pick your favorite and enjoy!
Southwestern Kale Salad from Food52
Bundt Cake Start the year off on a sweet note with a bundt cake! Ring-shaped cakes represent the circle of life, so enjoying a nice doughnut or a slice of bundt cake can make your whole year much luckier. It's also traditional in some countries to bake a trinket or coin into the cake, which will bring extra fortune and good luck to the finder.
Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake from Leite's Culinaria