NYE Traditions Examined: Fortune-filled foods to kick off any New Year

NYE Traditions Examined: Fortune-filled foods to kick off any New Year

You've heard of the kiss at midnight on New Year's Eve, but have you heard of eating grapes as the clock strikes 12?

Blame the Spaniards for coming up with this interesting tradition expected to bring a month of luck for every grape eaten as the New Year saunters in. I'm always scouring the internet for fresh ways to mark the a new year. Recently, I read an article about a practice in the Latino culture called "The 12 Grapes of Luck."  At midnight, as the clock chimes 12 times, people wanting to bless the incoming new year with fortune, gobble a grape with every chime, finishing off a dozen as the new year rolls in.

This reminds me of my grandmother's obsession about serving black-eyed peas every Jan. 1, allegedly to bring us luck. This is a Southern tradition mostly; my other friends don't usually know about this ritual. Since every year that we had the peas was still filled with a mix of bad and good, life and death, I'm not sure this worked at all. Still cultural traditions at the start of a year are something I cherish.

Even if they don't work, partaking of them fills one with hope and a sense of cultural kinship.

Here are some other foods that different cultures consume on New Year's Eve or New Years Day to make their lives a little bit luckier, according to Salisbury University.

  • Japanese people turn to the soba noodle for luck, trying to suck in one long noodle without having it break.
  • Brazilians consume the lucky lentil, whether in soup or rice dish form.
  • Dutch folks think eating sauerkraut will make riches rain down on them.
  • German people cut into pancakes as soon as the clock strikes midnight.