Everyone wants the New Year to bring fortune, health, and happiness. People around the world eat certain foods at midnight or on New Year's Day to help Lady Luck along.
I grew up feasting on Hoppin' John and collard greens with a penny in my pocket all day. But no matter how I've tried, I just can't convince my kiddos that black-eyed peas and collard greens are yummy!
After more than four decades, I've changed my tradition and we now eat doughnuts for breakfast and noodles with strips of pork loin for dinner. The boys are happier, and we still get to start the New Year with a family tradition that makes us all feel a little luckier!
Here is a fun list of traditional eats your family can enjoy for this New Year!
Black Eyed Peas: This is an American tradition and comes straight from the south. It is believed that if you eat Black-eyed peas on New Years day, then you will be sure to experience a year of good fortune.
Lentils: An Italian ritual, similar to the black-eyed peas. So, if you are not fond of the southern legumes, try lentils this year for your spot of good fortune.
Greens: Collards? Kale? Anything green is thought to bring prosperity... it's the color and (sort of) the shape of paper money!
Ham: Serve this (or any pork product) on New Year's Day and your year will be filled with happiness, progress, and prosperity. Pigs are rather large animals so they symbolize prosperity. They also root forward with their snouts, which symbolizes progress.
Cornbread: The hue represents gold, of course.
Grapes: This tradition comes from Spain. At midnight on New Year's, the revelers each eat 12 grapes, representing the months of the coming year. The legend says for every sweet grape you get, you will receive a lucky month, and for the sour... well, let's just say you really only want sweet grapes!
Soba Noodles: This Japanese tradition is practiced at midnight on New Year's. Eating buckwheat or soba noodles, as long as possible, are thought to bring abundance and a long life.
Fish: Their scales resemble coins, they swim in schools, and they swim forward... so they represent abundance, knowledge, and progress.
Pomegranate: In Greece, the tradition is to smash a pomegranate on the ground in front of the door at midnight. The more seeds revealed, the better... to bring prosperity and good fortune.
Circular Foods: Donuts, bagels, and other ring-shaped pastries are not only delicious, but they are thought to bring good luck because of their shape, which represents "coming full circle." Also, since they're the same shape as coins, they could bring prosperity as well.
Find more New Year events, crafts, recipes, and goals at bit.ly/MKDCNYE!