We have reached that time of the year when it seems like everyone is complaining about what a horrendous year they had. As 2018 comes to a close, stress mounts with the pressure from finals, shopping and impending semester changes looming over our heads. If you're desperate to start your 2019 off right with lots of luck, look no further. Stock your pantry with these lucky New Year's foods that will carry you through the aftershock of the holiday season.

1. Grapes

grape, berry, pasture, wine, juice
Julia Roccanova

Shoving 12 grapes down your throat may not sound ideal, but in Spain, this practice is associated with good luck in the new year. If you can actually semi-swallow all 12 by the end of the final bell's toll when the clock strikes midnight, you'll be allotted serendipity for el Año Nuevo. You have to channel some masterful competitive eating skills if you want to gain any New Year's success from this challenge.

2. Hoppin' John

If you live in the South, you may be familiar with this luck-laden dish, Hoppin' John, which holds its roots in African and West Indian traditions. Rumor has it that eating black-eyed peas with rice, greens and cornbread around the start of the new year brings good fortune your way. The cornbread represents gold, the peas symbolize coins and the veggies symbolize wealth — get it? Green = money. If you don't want to pass up the chance of being blessed with some ~dough~ for the new year, you may want to consider this dish. 

3. Marzipan

Eating pig for good luck (without actually having to eat a pig) is a common New Year's custom in Germany and Austria. Sugary marzipan pigs offer a sweet, promising segue into the new year. The tradition stems from the German expression "schwein gehabt," which translates to "having a pig." Medieval farmers were guaranteed bountiful success if they bred lots of pigs and sustained them throughout the year. So, vegans, since these are made from sugar and almond paste, you can actually eat these cute little piglets. After all, everyone could use some luck for the new year.

4. Pickled Herring

I don't know how often you eat fish from a jar, but in Poland and Scandinavia, pickled herring is believed to bring prosperity if eaten at midnight on New Year's Eve. All you have to do is throw the prepared fish into a pickled solution and let it soak in the seasonings for a few days. You can even spice things up by serving the herring with a special cream sauce or onions. 

5. Soba Noodles  

vegetable, stir-fry, tofu, pepper, noodle, meat
Katherine Baker

This Japanese New Year's food may make a few more appearances in our day-to-day lives than the herring does. In Japan, soba noodles are eaten at midnight to bid farewell to the old year, while offering a warm welcome to the new one. The longer the noodles, the greater the prosperity and longevity that will accompany you as you enter the next year. There are all kinds of soba dishes you can make to ring in a lucky new year.

6. Pomegranates

sweet, berry, pomegranate, juice
Dina Zaret

Pomegranates' deep red color symbolizes the human heart in Turkey. Paired with its medicinal properties and many seeds, pomegranates denote abundance, good health and fertility. No wonder eating pomegranates is such a common Turkish New Year's tradition—who doesn't want to kick off their year off with such high hopes for success and health?

7. Lentils

cereal, buckwheat, legume, horse gram, vegetable, lentil, corn
Christin Urso

Cotechino con lenticchie, or green lentils with sausage, is a popular Italian meal that is served to celebrate the onset of the new year. The greenish hue of the lentils represents growth, while the lentils' round shape resembles a coin. Therefore, this dish promises wealth throughout the next year. Excuse me while I eat as many lentils as I can over the next few days.

8. Oliebollen

In the Netherlands, it is tradition to swim in icy waters on New Years Day. A native custom that may be more enticing has to do with a treat called "oil balls," aka Dutch donuts, or oliebollen. Oliebollen are deep-fried dough balls smothered in powdered sugar.  Whatever you'd like to call them, they are served warm to ward off the cold temperatures experienced in the Netherlands around the holiday. The moral of the legend seems clear to me — any slight chill of the wind means it's time to eat oliebollen to stay nice and toasty.

9. Ring-Shaped Foods

chocolate, candy, sweet, coffee
Jocelyn Hsu

Eating ring-shaped foods to invite splendor into your life has become a global New Year's tradition, as the enclosed loop exemplifies the year coming full circle. While this practice has great metaphorical meaning, it is also a super fun excuse for a late-night donut run. 

10. Rice Pudding

In Sweden and Norway, rice pudding is a special dessert that is served around the New Year in order to bestow luck upon a few lucky people in the upcoming year. If you're the one to find the nut hidden in the pudding, you are guaranteed prosperity in the new year. You may have to sneak in the kitchen and dig through the entire batch just to claim the almond for yourself, but nobody has to know that, right?

11. Vasilopita

Greece adheres to a similar tradition as Sweden and Norway. The New Year is celebrated in Greece by hiding a coin in the unbaked dough of any type of cake or sweet bread. The person who gets the piece with the coin is said to have good luck in the new year, and the bread is called vasilopita. It originates from a story about an emperor, who stole the possessions of his people amidst a terrible famine. After learning of this atrocity, Saint Basil reclaimed the people's belongings and baked them into bread. Each person took a slice of the bread, and the pieces miraculously returned the original treasures back to the rightful owners as they ate.

So, there you have it. There are at least 11 ways you can make the best of 2019 just by eating. Here's to a happy, healthy and empowering new year.