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Must Eat Good Luck Food for New Year’s from Around the World!

If you’re looking for a change in fortune, luck, health, or longevity, you need to ring in the new year with at least one of the options on this list of good luck food for New Year’s! See how cultures around the world eat to usher in change in the new year!

Must Eat Good Luck Food for New Year’s!

Did you know different cultures believe certain foods have the power to change your fortune, luck, or longevity?? Is it true, or is it just folklore? We will never know. Many cultures swear by eating certain foods to make sure they start the year off on the best foot possible and what they eat is just fascinating!

Having lived in three different countries and continents, I know firsthand that food is as varied as the people in our vast world. If you’re as curious as I am about what different cultures eat, you will be surprised by this list of lucky food!

Black eyed peas ready to soak and be ate for luck this new year

Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, and Cornbread for Luck in Southern USA

In the Southern USA, a favorite good luck food is black-eyed peas, often served in a dish called Hoppin’ John. Collard greens and cornbread are also good luck staples on US tables alongside black-eyed peas.

An old southern saying is “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.” If you want to change up your luck or fortune this year, eat these delicious dishes from the southern US states!


Soba Noodles for Longevity in Japan

Japanese people think soba noodles are considered lucky. When we lived in Okinawa, we loved soba soup. This rich, brothy deliciousness was a bit like Pho but with long flour-based noodles instead of rice noodles. In mainland Japan, soba noodles are traditionally made from buckwheat flour, but they’re different in Okinawa.

Why are soba noodles considered lucky? The traditional buckwheat soba noodle is considered lucky because buckwheat can thrive in harsh growing conditions. Also, the long shape of the noodles represents long life! If longevity is a goal, add Japanese soba noodles to your new year’s lineup!

Whether you eat the traditional buckwheat soba or the flour-based Okinawan soba noodle, we think you can’t go wrong with delicious Japanese soba for New Year!

cabbage for good luck in the new year

Pork, Cabbage, and Lentils Represent Prosperity in Eastern USA & Germany

German New Year’s traditions include cabbage, pork, and lentils. Pennsylvania Dutch colonies in the US also eat these good luck foods. Cabbage is thought to represent money because it is crisp and green. 🙂

Germans and Italians think the size and shape of lentils resemble coins. So if prosperity is one of your goals for the new year, make sure to add a few lentils to your first meal of the next year.


Grapes from Spain, Citrus from Asia, Pomegranates from Greece

Fruit is considered lucky in many countries around the world. For the best of luck, make sure to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. This Spanish tradition is also observed in Mexico. The 12 grapes represent the 12 months of the year; supposedly, for every sour grape you may eat, you should expect a rocky month! If you decide to try this tradition, make sure to buy only sweet grapes.

In China and other Asian countries, round citrus-like tangerines and oranges are considered lucky. The theme with lucky food seems to be that the shape, color, or size resembles money. The golden color of citrus fruit represents wealth and good luck! Citrus fruits also wards off bad luck.

Pomegranates are a favorite fruit at our house and also in Greece. While we like them a lot, I’m not sure we’ll try the Greek tradition of smashing a pomegranate at the house entrance to usher in good luck. Have you ever opened a pomegranate? If not, you can learn how here. They can make a huge mess, even though they are delicious.


Fish is Considered Lucky in Asia and Northern Europe

Fish is considered lucky in a lot of countries for many different reasons. If you’d like to add fish to your new year’s menu, remember that the luckiest type of fish to eat is the whole fish (head, tail, and all) and not fish fillets.

The scales remind Germans of money, making them lucky for prosperity. I don’t remember this from my many years in Germany, but some Germans supposedly keep fish scales in their wallet all year to stay lucky. It sounds pretty stinky to me!!

The fact that fish swim forward symbolizes moving forward in the new year. This makes me laugh, honestly. Don’t most animals move forward? Don’t eat seafood that moves backward or sideways, like lobster or crab. And you might want to avoid bottom-dwelling fish like catfish if you’re superstitious.

Now that you know a bit more about some of the cultural traditions surrounding food for the new year, here are several recipes you can try!

Foods for Good Luck in the New Year

Ring in the New Year and eat some delicious foods that bring you good luck, health, prosperity and money for the coming year!

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Enjoy delicious food and have an epic New Year’s Eve dinner! What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

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