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13 New Year’s Eve Foods to Eat for Good Luck

Do you have any New Year's Eve food traditions? Think about incorporating some of these dishes for your next New Year's Eve party to bring luck to all your guests.

New Year’s Eve is a festive time celebrated around the world with friends, family, fireworks and food. But what counts as New Year’s Eve food? There’s food typically served at other holidays throughout the year with Halloween candy and Christmas cookies, but what counts as New Year’s foods? Read through the foods below to get a taste for what foods to serve an eat for New Year’s. If you’re still figuring out plans for New Year’s Eve (or feel like staying in), these are the best New Year’s Eve movies to ring in 2020. While you’re at it, make these resolutions that you’ll actually stick to!

Greens

Collard greens are a late crop mostly grown in the south, so they’re easy to find in the colder months. Supposedly greens are a go-to New Year’s Eve food because they resemble money. This year, find out what “Auld Lang Syne” actually means. 

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat beansTaste of Home

Beans

Beans, like greens, resemble money; more specifically, they symbolize coins. Traditionally, in the American South, beans are combined with rice and bacon for a lucky New Year’s Eve dish called Hoppin’ John. Start your year off on the right foot with these good luck quotes! 

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat conrbreadTaste of Home

Cornbread

Mix and match a few different New Year’s Eve food traditions with black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread to make a fortune this year. As the Southern saying goes, “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.” Check out these tips for a stress-free New Year’s cocktail party.

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat sobaTaste of Home

Soba


In Japan, toshikoshi soba is the traditional New Year’s food of choice. The length of the soup’s soba is said to symbolize a long life, while the buckwheat flour the noodles are made of brings resiliency. Part of the tradition is slurping these noodles since the luck from this New Year’s Eve food runs out if you break or chew the noodle. Blue traffic lights and sweet potato Kit Kats are some of the weird things you could probably find in Japan.

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat grapes red Bennyartist/Shutterstock

Grapes

Make sure to add grapes to your New Year’s food and cheese platter this year. On New Year’s Eve, Spaniards pop a grape for each stroke of midnight, with each representing a page of the calendar ahead. If one is bitter, watch out for that month! Here are healthy holiday appetizers your guests will rave about.

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat porkTaste of Home

Pork


Pigs are a lucky New Year’s Eve food because they move forward when they eat. They are also rotund, symbolizing a fat wallet ahead. And the meat itself is fattier than other cuts of meat, making this New Year’s Eve food both tasty and a symbol of prosperity. Make sure you don’t make this mistake when cooking pork.

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat ginger bundt cakeTaste of Home

Cake

Ring-shaped cakes—sometimes with trinkets baked inside—are a symbol of coming full circle, making them a perfect New Year’s food. This tradition stems from the Greeks who make a traditional Vasilopita for New Year’s Eve food with a hidden coin baked inside. If you get the piece with the coin you’ll have good luck for a year. Check out these things you never knew about the holiday season.

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New Year’s Eve food traditions eat lemon parskly codTaste of Home

Fish

Fish are believed to be a lucky New Year’s Eve food because their scales resemble coins, and they swim in schools, which invoke the idea of abundance. Plus, before they were a New Year’s Eve food, fish swim forward which represents progress. These are the ways you’ve been cooking fish wrong.

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Pomegranate What to eat on new yearsTaste of Home

Pomegranate

In a Greek tradition, families toss a pomegranate against their front door when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. The more seeds fall out, the more luck and fertility that household will be blessed with. Pop yours in a plastic bag to avoid making a mess, or make your New Year’s party extra cheerful by whipping up cranberry pomegranate margaritas. Don’t miss these holiday menu ideas everyone will love.

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dumplings What to eat on new yearsTaste of Home

Dumplings

On the day before the Chinese New Year, families will gather to make jiaozi. The dumplings are shaped like gold ingots—the currency used in ancient China—so eating them as a New Year’s Eve food will bring financial luck. Try making your own healthy steamed dumplings. These are the things you never knew about the Chinese New Year.

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Mandarin oranges What to eat on new yearsleonori/Shutterstock

Oranges

Mandarin oranges are one of the main symbols of Chinese New Year. Stick with fresh mandarins, not the canned stuff—the fruit itself is said to bring prosperity, and having one with the stem and leaf attached will bring a long life and fertility; your friends will love these holiday food gifts. Here’s where to find one of the the best New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world.

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sauerkraut What to eat on new yearsTaste of Home

Sauerkraut

According to German and Eastern European superstition, rolling in the New Year with a heaping plate of sauerkraut means wealth, and the Pennsylvania Dutch have kept up that tradition. The more you eat this New Year’s Eve food, the bigger your bankroll! Learn why Oktoberfest begins in September.

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lentils Traditional new year's foodTaste of Home

Lentils

Italians traditionally would eat lentils for the New Year’s Eve dinner. In the past, Romans would give a leather bag of the legumes, in hopes that they would turn into gold coins. Try cooking yours into a sweet potato lentil stew. Or double up on your luck and cook these lentils with another New Year’s Eve food—pork. Don’t miss these other  lucky New Year’s traditions from around the world.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest