New Year’s Traditions

Did You Know?

Many New Year’s traditions surround food.  New Year’s Day means new beginnings.  So to start the new year, people in various countries around the world eat specific foods on this day.

In Spain, the Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each month, in the hopes of having a good new year.

In Asia, eating long noodles signifies the wish for a long life.

In Turkey, pomegranates are the food of choice to ensure good health and fertility.

The Chinese word for fish sounds like the word “abundance.”   Therefore it’s become a good luck food to eat on this day (the head and tail must be intact!).

Italians eat green lentils and sausage.  Lentils plump up when cooked and symbolize growing wealth.  Lentils are also good luck in Hungary.

Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a doughnut) symbolizes “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune.  In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.

The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.

In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.

In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors—and allowed to remain there!


(This information is taken from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The Little Blue Advent Book by Ken Untener.)