No matter what the occasion, its celebrations cannot be complete without food. New Year celebrations are no exception to this rule. Throughout the world, this joyous day and eve are rejoiced by people in many different ways. While some host family get-togethers, others throw lavish grand parties with hundreds of guests. However, there are certain food items that are absolutely integral to New Year feasts as they are believed to be the harbingers of good fortune. Some such lucky and interesting food items eaten around the world to welcome and ensure prosperity in the New Year are mentioned in the lines below. Read on.
No matter in which corner of the world one is, cake and other sweet baked products remain one of the favorite food items for New Year celebrations. On this occasion, ring-shaped cakes and foods are considered highly auspicious as they represent the completion of a full year's cycle. In Greece, people bake vasilopita, which is a circular, anise-flavored cake, and hide a coin inside it to signify good luck. The similar traditions are followed in Norway and Sweden as well, where they hide a whole almond in the rice pudding and whoever discovers it, is said to have lady luck on his side throughout the year. Down south in Mexico, delectable sweet ring-shaped bread sprinkled with dried fruit is baked and a tiny figurine of baby Jesus is placed inside it to signify good luck. On the other hand, the Dutch organize gourmet dinners on New Year's Eve which include scrumptious desserts, known as oliebollen, which are basically puffy, doughnut-like fritters, stuffed with apples and raisins and dusted with powdered sugar, which gives them a snowy look.
Eating fish on the New Year's Day is considered a harbinger of good luck round the year. Many cultures around the world consider its consumption mandatory on New Year. After all, the shiny scales of the fish do resemble guineas and their roving schools in water do give one a sense of abundance. In China, the whole steamed fish is a significant part of the traditional New Year food as it is considered to be a symbol of long and healthy life. The Italians welcome the year by making dishes of salt cod, whereas the Polish serve pickled herring at the midnight feast to mark the occasion. Carp is a favorite German delicacy which they cannot do without on this day, and some go as far as keeping a few scales of carp in their wallets, so that the fortune smiles on them throughout the coming year.
Fruits make a major part of the daily diets of people around the world, then how could they be left behind in the importance as far as lucky New Year foods are concerned. Grapes absolutely rule the roost here. With the first gong of the clock that signifies the first stroke of the midnight, people all over Greece, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru start popping grapes in their mouths. The aim is to eat 12 grapes before the countdown to the New Year is completed. Each of the grapes symbolizes each month of the year; therefore, if any of the grape turns out to be sour then that month might not turn out to be much lucky. In some places, like Turkey and other Mediterranean countries, pomegranates are eaten to welcome the New Year as they consider its pearly seeds a sign of profusion. In the same way, eating figs at this time of the year is considered a symbol of fertility.
Leafy green veggies that bear a resemblance to folded money notes have always been one of the main constituents of lavish New Year's Day meals as they are believed to bring in favorable economic changes in the coming year. Sauerkraut, which is a dish of pickled cabbage, is a must serve dish on New Year's Eve in Germany, whereas a similar position is enjoyed by kale dish, which is sweetened with cinnamon and sugar in Denmark. On the other hand, in southern United States, collards are eaten with great relish, as it is believed the greener one eats, the greater would be one's fortune in the next year. Islamic nations that celebrate the Persian New Year, such as Iran, are not untouched by the green fetish, as fresh herbs are used on a large scale to garnish rice dishes and oven-baked omelets to mark the occasion.
The small, round coin-like shape of beans, peas and lentils have made them one of the most favored foods of the New Year celebrations. Besides their shape, legumes, when cooked, swell in size, which is believed to represent the growth in one's fortune. Thus, people around the world love to feast on these legumes during this time of the year to increase their chances of getting rich in the coming year. One of the most popular traditions based on this belief system is followed in southern United States, where eating the dish made of black-eyed peas known as hoppin' john (a soup made of black-eyed peas and rice) is mandatory on New Year's Eve, whereas in Italy, similar fanaticism is shown for green lentils and pork sausage.
This article highlights five auspicious food items that are believed to bring good luck in the New Year.