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.