The holiday season is full of rich, long-standing traditions, but we love the tasty traditions the most. If you're at all superstitious, you may be familiar with traditional food to bring you luck in the new year. People around the world feast on these New Year's staples for their symbolic powers, and we think those people are totally onto something. While we can't confirm that these actually work, there is no doubt that entering the new year on a full stomach is a pretty lucky way to start. Browse our list of traditional New Year's food below for some delicious good-luck inspiration:
1. Baked Doughnuts for the Year Coming Full Circle
Ring-shaped food is said to be symbolic of the year coming full circle. Celebrate all you've accomplished with these delicious cherry-almond doughnuts. Plus, they're baked, not fried, so you can munch guilt-free while keeping that New Year's resolution.
2. Black-Eyed Peas for Southern Supersition
If you're attending a New Year's celebration in the South, chances are you'll run into this traditional dish. While there are many theories as to why black-eyed peas are considered lucky, there is one thing we can all agree on: they are pretty darn delicious.
3. Long Soba Noodles for Longevity
The longer the noodle, the longer the life. At least, that's what this ancient superstition says. Soba noodles are extra-long and are meant to be slurped up on New Year's Day to symbolize longevity. Just be careful to not break or chew the noodles on their way from bowl to mouth!
4. Pork for Prosperity
If it's wealth and prosperity you seek, pork should be your main course this coming new year. The high-fat food symbolizes loads of good things, but we think an excuse to eat bacon is enough! For a healthier take on this tradition, try our roasted BLT salad.
5. Smashed Pomegranate for Good Fortune
Pomegranates are considered good luck for the people of Greece, but they are not used in a way you'd expect. Instead of eating this sweet red fruit, Greek families crush a pomegranate on the threshold of their home at the start of the new year. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't buy extra fruit to make this delicious apple-pomegranate galette!
6. Go Green for a Healthy & Wealthy New Year
Who doesn't want to start their new year off with some greens... money, that is. It is often believed that eating greens to ring in the new year will bring good luck to your pockets in the New Year. We sure hope that's true because we can't get enough of this healthy green dish!
7. 12 Sweet Grapes for Each Month
New Year's celebrations in Spain kick off with a handful of grapes – 12, to be exact. Tradition states that at the stroke of midnight, you should eat 12 sweet grapes, one for each month of the upcoming year. It's a good thing this fruit tart is loaded with grapes for good luck!
8. Lentils: Bites to Success
As lentils are soaked in water, they expand, symbolizing prosperity. Eat this dish if you want good fortune and success in the coming year. We jazzed it up a bit by making these lentil-and rice-stuffed peppers for a crowd.
9. Golden Cornbread for a Golden Year Ahead
Cornbread is baked to a delicious golden color symbolizing, you guessed it, wealth. Serve up a side of this Southern staple and your guests will thank you when that big holiday bonus check finally arrives!
10. Whole Fish for Wholesome Months Ahead
Legend has it that eating a whole fish, cooked with the head, tail, and all, brings forth a good year. While we are normally ones to follow tradition, we will take our chances with this yummy glazed fish fillet. It's the thought that counts, right?