As New Year’s and the hype that comes with it approaches, everyone’s coming up with resolutions they probably won’t keep and setting their expectations too high for 2016. Please, you aren’t fooling anyone… We both know you aren’t hitting the gym with that hangover come January 1st.
While I have no doubt that 2016 will be a great year, like all the others, I’m still a pretty superstitious person aka I will need all the luck I can get.
Many countries have their own beliefs and legends about what will bring luck into the new year, so I did the hard work for you and created a menu of what you should make this New Year’s to ensure a lucky and great 2016. You’re welcome.
In Greece, when the clock strikes midnight there is no ball drop, but rather a pomegranate is smashed on the floor in front of the door… OPA! The pomegranate breaks open revealing the beautiful color and seeds. So, like, it’s the same thing as a ball drop, right?
The seeds symbolize prosperity and good fortune so the more seeds, the better. The red color also represents the human heart, which denotes life and fertility. Instead of smashing a pomegranate on the floor, try this apple cider, pear and pomegranate sangria, which will still showcase those pomegranate seeds without all the mess.
#SpoonTip: If you don’t want your parents to yell at you for staining the carpet red with pomegranate juice, check out this article on how to properly cut a pomegranate.
Who would have thought that eating bacon could bring prosperity, progress, and luck? If you are celebrating New Year’s in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, or Germany you are guaranteed to see some type of pork at your New Year’s celebration.
Eating pork is thought to represent progress because when pigs move forward, they root themselves in the ground first. So, to move forward in 2016, start your day with two of my favorite things: peanut butter and bacon.
Eating pork can also signify wealth and prosperity because of its high fat content — cue bacon. Make sure you load up on the pork and leave no room for chicken because chickens are seen as bad luck to eat on New Year’s. Chickens scratch themselves backwards, which could cause one to dwell on the past of having regrets… #noragrets.
If I told you eating your greens on New Year’s could help bring in more money next year, I’m sure everyone would go for the salad over the dessert. People believe this because they think cooked and chopped up greens looks like folded money… If only that were true.
In Denmark, people eat stewed kale with sugar and cinnamon (I guess that’s their way of making vegetables taste better?) while the Germans eat sauerkraut. If those options don’t sit well with you, you can always go the American route and have some collards or this kale salad with strawberry vinaigrette.
Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils, which are all symbolic for money. Because of their small, round, coin-like shape people believe that eating legumes on New Year’s will help bring in dat cash monaay. This is believed because when cooked, the legumes plump with water, symbolizing growing wealth.
Italians eat sausages and green lentils right after midnight, which I guess is their version of the New Year’s drunchies. Germans will eat legumes with pork, Brazilians will have lentil soup or lentils and rice for their first meal of the new year, and the Japanese will have osechi-ryori, which includes sweet black beans.
If you are stuck somewhere cold for New Year’s like me — shout out to NJ — you may want to impress your friends with this deceivingly easy sweet potato lentil soup.
Fish is going to bring you luck in three ways, so make sure you listen up. The scales on fish represent coins, so they are believed to help increase wealth. Fish also travel in schools which represents prosperity, and they swim forward, meaning progress.
In Denmark, you will find boiled cod at the dinner table, in Italy there’s dried salt cod, and in Poland and Germany, they have herring. If these options don’t sound too appetizing, why don’t you try this simple and classy baked salmon instead that will taste better and still bring luck?
Germans have also been known to place a few fish scales in their wallets for good luck, which I’m sure smells great.
In Japan, herring roe (the little balls that are on your sushi which are actually fish eggs) are consumed for fertility. ‘Cause who doesn’t want to start off their year by eating fish eggs? Shrimp is also eaten for a long life and dried sardines for a good harvest because sardines used to fertilize rice fields.
Slurping noodles without breaking them on New Year’s symbolizes a long life in China, Japan and other Asian countries, so put aside your table manners and slurp away. According to ritual, it is bad luck to not finish your noodles before midnight, so make sure you’re hungry enough to tackle a full bowl of Thai peanut noodles.
The Spanish and Portuguese believe that they must eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each month of the calendar year. The rule is that you’re supposed to make a wish on each grape to ensure a lucky month. Some Spaniards even create a little competition with the eating of the grapes.
You could choose to down 12 grapes, trying to not choke on them as you scarf them down when the clock strikes twelve, or you could sip on this red wine margarita instead because wine is made from grapes, ya feel?
Many other Latin American countries also do this, and try to eat all twelve grapes before the last stroke of midnight. They believe that if a grape is sour, they should watch out for that month, so if the second grape isn’t good, they should look out for a rocky February.
Try and eat all of these foods on New Year’s to ensure the best 2016, but if you can’t, just go for a glass of champagne or these Jello-O shots and maybe you’ll get lucky.