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Top 10 New Years’ Food Traditions

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

December 19, 2011
Filed Under Food 

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A list of the top ten New Year's food traditionsContributed by Jennifer Andrews, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

New Years’ brings the opportunity to make resolutions, wipe the slate clean and start a new life.

In addition to setting goals and making plans however, there are food traditions associated with a new year. In particular, certain foods are believed to increase your chances of good luck in the future and forgetting past mistakes.

Try one or more of these top ten New Year’s food traditions to serve friends and family over the holiday.


10. Black-eyed peas

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

The small, seed-like appearance of these peas symbolize money coins which represents riches and fortune for the New Year.

9. Grapes

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

It is traditional to eat a dozen grapes during New Year’s – one for each month of the year.

8. Pork

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Pork is rumored to be a good-luck charm for the new year as pigs tend to move forward when they eat. In contrast, other animals such as chicken tend to move backwards while eating and grazing and thus should be avoided.

7. Fish

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Fish are believed to bring good fortune in the New Year as these water dwellers move forward in their environments, symbolic of moving forward in life.

6. Greens

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Greens, including collards, kale, chard and spinach, represent good financial luck for the new year as the folds and creases of leafy greens bear resemblance to dollar bills.

5. Cakes and desserts

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Yes, you can eat dessert in the New Year! Cake is a traditional New Year’s food in several countries and includes sugar cakes in China, apple fritters in the Netherlands and baklava in Turkey.

4. Lentils

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Some traditionalists indicate that lentils and other legumes such as beans are good luck because they bear a striking resemblance to money coins.

3. Porridge

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Porridge filled with nuts and dried fruit is a traditional Chinese food eaten at New Year’s. This breakfast favorite represents good fortune in Buddhist traditions.

2. Ham

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

Ham is often served with New Year’s dinner in place of chicken or turkey which is favored for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. As with pork, ham represents moving forward in life since pigs tend to root forward during feeding practices.

1. Bread

A list of the top ten New Year's food traditions

The Greeks celebrate New Year’s with a specially-name bread, Vasilopita that is served at midnight. This bread is baked with a special charm or coin inside that is believed to bring good luck to whomever finds it.

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