New Year’s is a time for new beginnings, promises of better habits, and the start of just about everyone’s New Year’s diet. But before the juice cleanse and swearing off all carbs, make sure to fill your plates with the following foods to ensure good fortune in the year to come.


new year

Photo by Lila Seeley

Grapes are symbolic of wealth and abundance in many different cultures. In Spain and South America, this fruit is closely tied to bringing good fortune in the New Year.

As the tradition goes, on the stroke of midnight on January 1st all those celebrating New Year’s must consume 12 grapes, one for each coming month. If the grape is sweet, the corresponding month will bring good fortune, but if a grape is sour, the corresponding month will bring bad fortune. Make sure to pick a good bunch next time you’re at the grocery store.

Can’t decide if you want red or green grapes to determine your New Year’s destiny? Read about this Grape Showdown and choose your winner.



These little legumes resemble gold coins and thus are believed to symbolize wealth and prosperity. In Italy, it is customary to eat a dish of pork and lentils just as the calendar switches to the new year. You may have some lentils for breakfast too if you celebrate the new year in Brazil or Germany. Eating lentils as the first meal of the new year is believed to predict a year of incoming wealth.

Make any of these lentil dishes for your next New Year’s party and your guests will be grateful.


Black-Eyed Peas

new year

Photo by Lila Seeley

Fergie and Will-I-Am may not bring you the luck you’re looking for. Instead, try eating a dish with black-eyed peas. Southern tradition believes eating the beans on the eve of the New Year will bring good luck and prosperity. This year, hide a coin in the dish if you’re feeling extra superstitious. Whoever finds the coin will experience a prosperous New Year and will leave a few cents richer.



Ever heard the saying “bringing home the bacon?” Pigs are a widely recognized symbol of wealth and progress. Countries such as Cuba, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Sweden, and Germany serve different dishes based around pork on the celebration of the New Years.

Try making this Lavender-Crusted Pork Chop for your lucky friends, or these BaconWrapped Dates to impress your guests.

If you’re not a pork-eater, you still have a chance for some good New Year’s fortune. Breaking a peppermint pig with a small hammer is a tradition that began in Saratoga Springs, NY. Superstition predicts the peppermint pig will bring prosperity to all who participate in breaking and eating the candy.



new year

Photo by Lila Seeley

Cakes are an essential element to almost all celebrations, so why not eat up the delicious dessert on New Year’s too? Many cultures around the world incorporate this sweet treat, as well as similar pastry desserts, in their New Year’s celebrations to ensure luck in the coming year.

New Year’s cakes are generally circular, and some cultures hide special coins in the cakes. Whoever ends up with the coin will have an extra dose of prosperity and maybe a broken tooth. Celebrating the New Year’s alone? No fret, make this Chocolate Mug Cake for a personal dose of chocolatey good fortune.


Now that you have your good-luck menu set for this New Year’s celebration, it’s time to send out the invitations and feast. Just keep in mind, in Germany it is customary to leave a few bites of food on your plate after your midnight feast to ensure a stocked pantry in the future. So, eat up! And leave some leftovers. Maybe your good fortune will include a gym membership.

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