Ring in the new year with a few traditional foods and some superstitions that are said to help ensure good luck. Tasty traditions • •...

Share story

Ring in the new year with a few traditional foods and some superstitions that are said to help ensure good luck.

Tasty traditions

• Hoppin’ John: Black-eyed peas and ham hocks is a Southern staple thought to bring good luck.

• Eating greens is reputed to bring money; eating cornbread might bring wealth.

• To eat 12 grapes at midnight is believed by many of Spanish descent to bring 12 months of good luck

• Germans and Poles credit eating pickled herring with bringing good luck.

• St. Basil’s cake, or vasilopita, a sweet yeast cake baked with a coin inside, is considered the lucky food in Greece, especially for the person who gets the coin in his piece of cake.

• In Italy, some people serve a dish of sausages and lentils, which is said to pack double good luck. The richness of the sausage symbolizes abundance, and the round, green lentils represent coins and prosperity.

• In Japan, long soba noodles are supposed to ensure long life, if consumed without breaking.

• The Dutch eat doughnuts because their shape symbolizes good luck.

• At their new year, the Chinese eat dumplings, and the Vietnamese eat carp.

Superstitions

• Loud noises scare away evil spirits and bring good luck on New Year’s Eve.

• Dancing outdoors on New Year’s Day, especially around a tree, will bring good luck.

• The first person to enter your home after midnight will influence the year you will have.

• Kissing someone at midnight ensures that person’s affection all year long.