New Year’s Food Traditions
Eating noodles at midnight is customary at Buddhist temples in Japan.
A German/Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s day for good luck.
It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.
German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.
Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.
In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year’s eve will bring luck for the coming year.
Also from the south comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money.
One more from the Southerners: eating cornbread will bring wealth.
The Southern custom of eating greens can be found in other cultures as well, although the cabbage can take many forms, such as sauerkraut or even kimchee.
In the Philippines, it is important to have food on the table at midnight in order to insure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.
Boiled Cod is a New Year’s Eve must in Denmark.
Olie Bollen a donut-like fritter is popular in Holland for New Year.
Black-eyed peas, fish, apples, and beets are eaten for luck at the Jewish New Year’s celebration (not celebrated on Jan 1).