New Years Eve focuses on celebrations and kisses from your loved one at midnight to reign in the New Year. I wrote a story about fifteen local festivals to attend, most of them free. However, New Years Day in many cultures is a celebration of food and the coming family generations. Many cultures traditionally eat certain foods to bring spirituality, focus, prosperity, calm and, in general, to start the New Year off right.
Below are some examples of foods and what eating these foods means to others. These can also be a few of your favorites, or maybe you have a few that you would like to share with me.
Common American dishes include black-eyed peas, fish, pork, and cornbread. These traditional foods are as multicultural as our county. Some cultures believe that green vegetables are eaten on New Years Eve because they look like paper money, while beans symbolize coins. There is also an old tale about beans and lentils that soak in alcohol so that those who soak don’t suffer the consequences.
While it might all sound a bit silly, if I was invited I would come and try your traditions just to enjoy your company, maybe that’s how all these traditions started, the need for companionship.
Pork – The pig and the pigs represent prosperity and progress.
Greens and Cabbage – Your mother probably always told you to eat your green vegetables. Well, green vegetables may sound like money to some, so eating your green can make you good for the New Year.
Black-eyed peas and lentils – If greens are the vegetable of paper money, then legumes like black-eyed peas are the coins that bring good luck and prosperity.
Grapes – In Spain, eating twelve grapes in the first twelve seconds of the New Year gives twelve months of health and happiness. Does a glass of wine count?
Long Noodles – The longer the noodle, the longer the shelf life.
corn bread – In our southern states, corn bread symbolized gold. So eat there and maybe find some gold on the road.
Whole fish – Eating fish symbolized prosperity because fish travel in schools and the scales look like coins. Plus, fish is good for us, so eat more.
Food in the shape of a circle – Circular foods like donuts help close the loop. I think Duncan Donuts and Krispy Cream have something to do with this one.
pretzels – A hot and cool pretzel is supposed to bring good luck. Why, whatever, they are delicious.
Cake – There is always time for the cake, but the New Years cake is meant to symbolize abundance.