Some foods are known for bringing good luck in the coming year when you eat them on New Year’s Day. And even people who aren’t that superstitious may fill up on black-eyed peas and collard greens, the traditional southern dishes to eat on January 1st, because why tempt fate? The peas are supposed to bring good luck, and the greens are supposed to bring money during the year, and who doesn’t want that?
The tradition comes from Europe, according to southern food historian Adrian Miller. He says Germans would eat pork, lentils and cabbage on New Year’s Day, with the pork representing health and prosperity because pigs always look forward and never backward. Lentils are said to represent gold, and the cabbage or collard greens represent money.
But these aren’t the only foods eaten on January 1st for good luck in the New Year. Other traditional cuisine includes:
- Soba noodles - In Japan, the soba noodle represents a long and prosperous life and has to be slurped up without breaking the noodle before chewing, according to Today.com.
- Grapes - People in Spain snack on grapes when midnight rolls around on January 1st, CNN reports. The grapes symbolize the coming months of the new year.
- Fish - According to Reader's Digest, the scales on a fish represent coins, and fish also signify abundance because they travel in schools.
- Pomegranate - This fruit is a popular New Year’s Eve food in the Mediterranean area. “Reader’s Digest” also reports it’s a tradition in Greece to smash the pomegranate against the front door at midnight and the more seeds that come out, the more luck the household will have.
Source: USA Today