The 7 Luckiest New Year's Foods

The 7 Luckiest New Year's Foods
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The 7 Luckiest New Year's Foods

Looking for luck in the New Year? Check out which foods are said to bring fortune to those that indulge.

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As Spain counts down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, it is customary to eat a dozen grapes timed to the 12 bells of the famed Puerta del Sol clock in Madrid. Finish all 12 grapes before the strike of midnight and begin the year with luck and prosperity.

And with your extra grapes, consider making a jam to enjoy in the new year.

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In the Philippines, long, thin pancit noodles are prepared to symbolize longevity and served with eggs to represent new life. Japanese tradition similarly calls for noodles (often soba noodles) to signify a long life which are eaten alongside Omochi rice cakes for luck.

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This fatty meat is thought to bring luck in countries such as Portugal, Austria, Germany and Hungary. While roasted suckling pigs are customary for the New Year in Hungary and Portugal, other countries, such as Germany, enjoy sausages. Since pigs are thought to represent progress and prosperity, in Austria they even decorate their table with small marzipan pigs.

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Black-Eyed Peas

As the story holds, during the Civil War, union soldiers seized crops from Southern farms, but often missed the fields of black-eyed peas. The peas prepared with rice and collard greens, known as Hoppin’ John, are now thought to bring luck and wealth in the New Year. For many in the South, the greens represent dollar bills while the peas symbolize coins.

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Cod and other seafood dishes reign supreme on New Year’s tables. Pickled herring is a New Year’s staple in Poland, while carp is a must-have in Germany. In China, a whole fish symbolizes longevity and health.

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Vietnamese tradition holds that the redder the melon, the luckier the New Year will be. Some farmers have even grown watermelons in unique shapes and colors especially for the New Year, which they call Tet.

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In Greece, the Vasilopita is the food of choice for the New Year. The New Year’s cake holds a coin in the middle, and whoever receives the slice with the coin inside is said to find extra luck in the upcoming year. Still each piece of cake is thought to offer fortune to the person for whom it is cut. Around the world, circular or ring-shaped cakes are dominant for the holiday as they symbolize the cycle of a full year.

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New Year's cuisine may do more than satisfy your appetite. From eating 12 grapes during the countdown to midnight to hunting for a lucky coin in a piece of cake, people around the globe turn to food customs to bring them prosperity and luck in the new year.

To learn about these top food traditions, check out our slideshow above.

And for other great ways to welcome the new year, check out Kissing: Not the Only Way to Ring in the New Year from our friends at Homesessive!

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