I didn’t know that there were actually Lucky Foods that you were suppose to eat for the New Year to insure good fortune until I met my husband. His required list is pretty simple: Pork or Ham, Black Eyed Peas, Collard Greens and Cornbread. It wasn’t enough for me to just have the list. Oh, no! I wanted to know the reasoning behind the Lucky Foods.
Now that New Year’s Eve is just a few days away, we need to get busy on our New Years Lucky Foods menus and recipes. As the clock ticks away to midnight, it’s a good time to think about the passing year, the challenges and the changes, and resolve to do better in the coming year.
Home Free – Auld Lang Syne
I found this nice video to listen to while I wrote about the Lucky Foods.
Hubby is pretty insistent on eating specific foods, so we will have those. But I think I’m going to throw in a few more for good measure. From what I have read, I guess the key to being healthy, wealthy and wise is to eat certain foods on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day. The custom has been around for ages, and since we need all the extra help we can get, I figure it can’t hurt. At the very least, we’ll start the New Year with full bellies and celebrate that we survived another year together!
Hubby’s Top 4 Picks of Lucky Foods
These foods generally make up our whole dinner. It’s a good mix to cover most of the bases.
Pork or Ham – Wealth: The reason being that pigs dig with their snout, moving forward and making progress. It is also said that eating fatty meat is symbolic of our wallets getting fatter.
Black-Eyed Peas – Prosperity and Growth: Hubby is from the South, so this has to be served! I couldn’t find an answer as to why, but it might be for the same reason that Lentils are popular for good fortune and success. Because they are soaked in water, they swell while cooking which symbolizes prosperity and growth. They are suppose to bring about good luck, too.
Greens – Wealth: This includes all greens, but Hubby insists it be Collards Greens. All greens are suppose to represent paper money, so the more you eat, the more money is suppose to come your way.
Cornbread – Wealth: The golden color of cornbread represents gold. Another symbol of wealth. For good measure, throw in some extra corn kernels to symbolize golden nuggets.
New Year’s Good Luck Foods
Long Soba Noodles – Longevity: This was surprising, but I can see the significance. The longer the noodle, the longer your life will be. They need to be slurped up on New Year’s Day to symbolize longevity, eat at least one long noodle in one piece (without chewing) for a good long life.
Round Foods – Wealth: Round fruits like oranges, and other foods (cheese, meat slices, fruit slices, etc) that are cut in round shapes symbolizes coins, which brings another form of prosperity. Mandarin oranges and tangerines are suppose to be the luckiest fruits. Their golden color represents wealth and good luck.
Other Round Foods – The Year Coming Full Circle: Donuts are also said to bring good luck, because ring-shaped foods are suppose to be symbolic of the year coming full circle. Similar to the King Cake tradition, if a coin is found inside a baked doughnut or bread by a family member, that person is suppose to have good luck throughout the New Year.
Grains – Abundance: Barley, quinoa, rice, risotto, etc. symbolize abundance because they swell when cooked. Hoppin’ John and Jambalaya are popular dishes here in the US, but it doesn’t matter how the grains are served, as long as they’re plentiful!
Herring – Bounty: Because these fish are plentiful around the Baltic Sea, they are served to encourage a bountiful year.
Whole Fish – For a Good Year: Fish swim forward, representing progress and if they have scales, the scales symbolize silver. For best results, fish is served whole with the head and tail, which symbolizes the end of one year and the beginning of another, which brings forth a good year. Stick a few silver scales in your wallet on the chance it really works.
Root Vegetables – Calming and Grounding: Eating root vegetables is suppose to be good to calm and ground your mind and body. It’s a popular concept in Yoga.
Sauerkraut – Longevity, Luck, and Money: This is a great one! The long cabbage shreds represent a long life, and each strand represents one request for luck and money. So eat up!
Grapes – Luck : At each stroke of midnight, eat 12 sweet grapes, one for each month of the upcoming year. If you get a sour grape, expect challenges in that particular month.
New Year’s Menu Planning
Don’t feel like you have to consume all of these foods to reap the benefits of good fortune. Use a few Mandarin oranges and tangerines in a bowl for a centerpiece. Maybe skewers of grapes in tall glasses of sparkling water just for the fun of it, if you don’t drink champagne.
Some suggestions for easy meals and entertaining:
- Hubby’s ham, black eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread.
- Make a meat, cheese and fruit tray. Serve with Hawaiian Rolls.
- Make a smoke sausage skillet meal with cabbage and potatoes.
- Make a stir fry with long Soba noodles and pork, with fried biscuits.
- Smoked sausage on buns with sauerkraut.
- Fish with baked potatoes, coleslaw and cornbread.
- Make Hoppin’ John with pork chops and greens.
- Or Jambalaya, then throw in some greens and cubed ham.
Extra Good Luck Ideas
Wishbone – Luck: Oops! Sounds like we should have saved the wishbone! Break the wishbone on New Year’s Eve. Two people grab an end and make a wish, then pull to break the wishbone. If it breaks evenly between the people pulling it, both of their wishes are granted. If the bone doesn’t break in the middle, then the one with the longer piece will have their wish fulfilled.
Fortune Cookies – Laughter & Good Wishes – Grab a box of Fortune Cookies (or make your own) with cool fortunes and lucky numbers to share with everyone.
Happy New Year
As we begin the New Year, may you be blessed with health, wealth and happiness, and may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, and never in want.”