I’m a little bit superstitious. OK, let’s be honest, I’m superstitious about anything that will bring me luck! If there was ever a year to wish for good luck, it’s 2021. So when it came time to deciding what to make for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day meals, I was delighted to learn there are foods that will bring me luck, prosperity, health and happiness.
For this New Year’s Eve dinner, I am going to serve my favorite fish recipe. I was excited to learn that in some cultures, eating fish on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. Fish is considered lucky because the scales resemble coins, and fish swim in schools, which represent abundance. Apparently, it’s best for the fish to be served with the head and tail intact to ensure a good year, from start to finish.
For New Year’s Day, I’m going to make this hearty Lentil Tomato Soup. After a late night, this healthy comfort food is enjoyed by everyone in my family. What a bonus to learn that when cooked, lentils plump with water, symbolizing wealth. Sounds lucky to me!
There are a number of other ingredients, depending on your geographical location or culture, that are considered good luck to eat on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Each in their own way represents abundance, good health and luck.
- Black-eyed peas, lentils and greens: These traditional Southern foods represent money by their color and/or shape. Because they are one of many, they symbolize abundance.
- Round fruits such as oranges and grapes: The shape looks like money, and the sweetness promotes a sweet year. Display 12 different round fruits in your home to attract money for the next year. In the Philippines, these 12 fruits are believed to bring luck, or swerte. In some cultures, eating 12 grapes while the clock strikes midnight is the best way to gain luck for the 12 months of the new year. If one of the grapes is sour, then that month it represents will also be sour, so pick your fruits carefully!
- Pomegranates: In Turkey, the inside and outside of this fruit represents good luck: Their red color, which represents the human heart, denotes life and fertility; their medicinal properties represent health; and their abundant, round arils represent prosperity. Learn how to cut a pomegranate and gather its tasty arils. (The clear, ruby-colored fruit surrounding a tiny, crisp seed is the aril, and the whole aril is edible.)
- Pork: The fat pig represents prosperity, thus bringing wealth in the new year. Plus, a pig will root for food by moving forward, meaning you’ll move ahead in the new year.
- Cornbread: Another Southern favorite, the golden color of cornbread represents wealth in the form of gold. Some folks add extra corn to represent gold nuggets.
- Noodles: Soba or any long noodles represent a long and healthy life. The longer the noodle, the longer the life. Eating them in one long slurp means you will live to a ripe old age. The kids really love to see how long a noodle they can slurp!
- Ring-shaped food: Donuts or ring-shaped cakes, such as a Bundt cake or angel food cake, represent a continuous year of luck and prosperity. Check out this recipe for a delicious spice cake I am going to serve on New Year’s Eve. Any leftovers will be perfect the next morning with my coffee for a little extra luck!
I’m excited for the new year, and with all this extra luck I am sure my family and friends will enjoy prosperity, good health and happiness. We at DinnerTime, hope the same for you! Happy New Year!
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