The New Year is a time for celebrating with friends and family, making resolutions for the months to come, and, of course, plenty of eating. From Asia to North America, cultures around the world ring in the New Year in a number of ways involving food.
In Mexico and parts of Central and South America, it is customary to eat a grape for each month of the new year. If the grape is sweet, the corresponding month will be a good one, but if it’s sour, be wary of negativity for that month.
In most of Europe, eating round foods, especially round cakes, is considered good luck. The resemblance to round coins is intended to ensure prosperity and wealth, and the treats are often baked with prizes inside for a lucky winner.
Greens are a popular New Year’s food in many cultures across Europe. Cabbage and lettuce are eaten for their similar appearance to money and are believed to help bring good fortune.
Most Asian cultures believe that consuming long noodles on New Year’s Day is representative of good health and a long, happy life. They are careful not to break the noodle as they eat, too, to keep the strand long.
Pork and Sauerkraut
Of course, in some parts of America, no New Year’s meal is complete without the German tradition of pork and sauerkraut, especially for those who live in Pennsylvania. This custom, like most others, is thought to bring happiness and prosperity in the new year.