Cultural New Year’s food traditions for good luck
Many cultures believe that if you eat certain foods on New Year’s Day it will bring you good luck and bring prosperity. Most Italians eat a dish made with pork sausage served over lentils. They believe that the shape of the lentils resemble coins, symbolizing money. In the Southern US, black-eyed peas, collard greens and Hoppin’ John are very popular along with the saying, “Eat poor on New Year’s, eat fat the rest of the year.” In the Eastern US, where Pennsylvania Dutch and Germans dominate the area, they eat pork, sauerkraut and cabbage. In China, they eat a whole fish as all things should have a beginning and an end. In Japan, soba noodles and shrimp are believed to bring longevity.
And some foods to be avoided
In addition to the aforementioned lucky foods, there are also a few to avoid. Lobster, for instance, is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks. Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.
Start your own local tradition
The conclusion? Eat as much lucky food as you can, just don’t get too greedy. This New Year’s we plan to eat local: fish from our oceans, meats bought from Ventura Meat Company, produce from the bounty from our county. Wow! We feel lucky already!
So get out your broom and sweep away the past – the New Year is coming!