Every culture and many families have tradition's and superstitions about foods that will ensure a prosperous New Year. With the state of the economy and all the financial woes it has caused in 2009, it might not hurt for us to lean toward the superstitious side this New Year's day. So, if you don't have any of the following foods in your kitchen right now, you might want to make a "good luck" run to the store!
Vegetables Associated with Good Luck for the New Year
There is a tradition of eating black-eyes peas on January 1st, it is a common good luck food in the southern United States, black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, their shape and abundance representing coins. Other vegetables that are considered lucky are: Lentils, they resemble coins and are thought to bring good fortune and represent growing wealth. Greens (kale, collards), are thought to be the color of money, they are thougtht to bring wealth and prosperity. Cabbage, because their leaves are representative of paper money!
Pigging out during New Year's Day Dinner!
While fish is considered lucky in NOrth America, Asia, and Europe (it's believed it represents moving forward), the overwhelming international choice for "good luck" meat is pork. The pig or hog meat is considerd lucky because it symbolizes prosperity.
Good Luck Fruits to Eat on New Year's Day
Many traditions include certain fruits that are believed to symbolize prosperity or good luck, such as :
Pomegranates, associated with abundance and fertility (This could be good or bad, depending!). Citrus, because tangerine and orange sound much like luck and wealth, respectively, in the Chinese language. Grapes, eating 12 grapes at midnight for a prosperous, sweet year!
Good Luck Carbs
Forget the low-carb diet for one day. Make some rice pudding and hide an almond in the center. Eat noodles, but be sure to eat them whole, not broken! Many countries have traditions that include eating cakes and pastries that are baked in a ring or round shape. Eat like the French do, and eat a stack of pancakes for good luck. Indulge in a donut, since the Dutch believe that this sugary treat's circular shape is lucky!
Bad Luck Food Warning for New Year
Some people believe that we should not eat anything white, because white represents death. However in Sicily eating lasagna is lucky (but not macaroni). In further opposition to this warning, many cultures swear that eating rice creates good luck in the new year.
Some say not to eat chicken or anything with wings as this might make our good luck fly away. This superstition for some, may include fish, if it is not eaten before midnight, if it is after your good luck may SWIM away!
Not cleaning your plate, leaving that last bit is believed to assure that you will have food on your plate for the rest of the year!!