Happy New Year Food 2020
Happy New Year Food 2020 Can you believe the New Year is almost here? It’s time to work on your New Years Lucky foods 2020 menus and recipes. As the clock approaches midnight, it is a time to reflect and assess the year that has gone by…to hopefully, realize how precious time is, and to resolve to do better in going forward. The word “new” brings about thoughts of hope, and an opportunity to focus on a list of fresh goals, challenges, and opportunities.Many cultures around the world believe the key to a happy, healthy, financially secure and even productive year begins with eating certain lucky foods on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day. The theory is “do good, eat good” on the 1st day of the year, to begin the New Year right.As a family, we enjoy putting a lucky foods menu together and love the way these food traditions tie into our passion for travel. An interesting and essential part of getting to know another culture is by tasting their local foods and experiencing new customs first hand, so every year we at Atlas Cruises and Tours proudly share this post on New Years lucky foods traditions and superstitions from around the world.
Eat twelve grapes, one for each chime of a clock, right after midnight to bring luck in the New Year. This tradition is said to have started in 1909 by grape growers who wanted to cut down on a surplus of grapes. The grape ritual is said to guarantee sweetness and fortune in the year ahead. Each grape follows the month – so your first grape represents January, 2nd February, etc. If you happen to get a sour grape along the way, it is said to predict that month will be a challenging one in 2020. In Portugal and Cuba, celebrants make a special wish for each grape. In Spain, the grape ritual is often followed by parties that last into the next morning and end with breakfast. In fact, several variations of the grape tradition are found in many other Spanish speaking countries around the world.
Round fruits such as oranges & apples, are considered New Year’s Lucky foods in many countries because they are believed to symbolize coins & bring a prosperous New Year.
- Mandarin oranges and tangerines are the most popular lucky fruits in China because of their golden color, which is supposed to represent wealth and good luck.
- In Vietnam, red is a lucky color, so watermelon is served.
- In Greece, they smash a pomegranate at the entrance of the house right after midnight. The further the seeds spread, the better the luck for the family in the new year.
- In ancient Italy, figs were said to be a symbol of fertility. If you want to create a “lucky” centerpiece for your New Year’s party, put a bowl of pomegranate and citrus fruits on your dining room table.
- In the Philippines, they believe in eating 12 fruits on New Year’s day to bring luck and prosperity – one fruit representing each month of the New Year.
Why eat black-eyed peas or other beans on New Year’s? Eating beans on New Year’s is considered good luck. The theory is that, because they “swell” as you cook them, beans symbolize prosperity and growth. In the South, eating beans shows a sign of humility and, therefore, invited good fortune. Black-eyed peas are the most popular beans eaten on New Year’s, followed by green lentils. The lentils round shape is said to represent coins, and green represents the color of money. Here are some of the examples of bean dishes eaten around the world as New Year’s lucky foods.
- In Italy, people often eat green lentils with sausages (cotechino con lenticchie).
- In Puerto Rico, they will often make rice and beans (Arroz con gandules).
- In Brazil, they have lentil beans on top of white rice, rather than prepared into the rice as it’s done in Puerto Rico.
- In Hungary, they prepare a lentil stew made with pork jowl, onions, and spices including Hungarian paprika, vinegar, and mustard, served with a dollop of sour cream on top.
- In Japan, sweet black beans (kuromame) are often a side dish on New Year’s and it’s said that they will ensure health in the coming year.
- As for black-eyed peas, you will find them all over the world on New Year’s. Black-eyed peas, cornbread, and collard greens are traditional Southern dishes in the U.S., as is Hoppin’ John. In Portugal, black-eyed peas are served with boiled cod and potatoes. In Egypt, they prepare a bean stew out of black-eyed peas called Lobya served with Egyptian rice. In Vietnam, black-eyed peas are used to make sweet rice and bean pudding. In Colombia, they make breakfast fritters out of the black-eyed peas called bunuelos de frijol de cabecita negro. Black-eyed peas are a staple in many Greek foods. For New Year’s, they are slow-cooked with olive oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and wild greens. In many Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Jordan & Lebanon, they also prepare black-eyed peas (called lubiya) with onions and tomatoes and is usually served as a side dish. In Guayana, they make black-eyed peas “cook-up” rice made with a coconut broth, fried fish, and plantains. According to tradition, cook-up rice should be the first thing eaten in the New Year for good luck. Tiny yet mighty, beans are a great source of protein, fiber, potassium, zinc, and iron, so add beans to your New Years Lucky foods menu.
Greens are said to “Show you the money!” Cooked collard, turnip greens, mustard greens, chard, spinach, cabbage, and kale are all said to represent paper money. Germans eat lots of sauerkraut, the Danish like their kale sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and many people in the U.S. cook collards with ham or pork. Make sure to pile it on. The more greens you eat, the more fortune you will have in the coming year. Besides, eating lots of greens means that you are also detoxing your body for the new year with all of the added fiber. Greens also provide beneficial vitamins and antioxidants which help reduce stress and inflammation.
If you eat meat, pick pork over chicken or beef on New Year’s Day because pigs dig with their snout, representing forward movement or progress, while chickens and turkeys scratch backward, and cows stand still (we all want to move forward, not backward or stay in the same place in the New Year!) Ribs, bacon, ham, and sausage are all easy to incorporate into your New Year’s lucky foods menu. If you are the cook in the house, consider putting pork or ham in your black-eyed peas or lentils for added flavor. Many cultures, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Ireland, eat pork not only because of the belief of moving forward but because fatty meat is also symbolic of “fattening” their wallets. Germans feel that pigs are so lucky that they give marzipan pigs known as Glücksschwein (lucky pigs) as gifts to bring good luck in the coming year.
If you want to stay away from meat, fish is a good choice as a New Years Lucky food, since most fish swim forward, and their scales are believed to symbolize silver. Another superstition is that, since many fish swim in schools and lay lots of eggs at one time, it is a sign of abundance. I personally would stay away from bottom dwellers like catfish, just in case, because that could mean something will hold you down in the New Year (just a thought). Pickled herring, salted cod, sardines, and carp are popular dishes on New Year’s in European and Scandinavian countries. In Germany, some people put fish scales in their wallet and keep them there all year, as it’s believed to bring about good luck. The Japanese also have fish for prosperity and wealth, as well as shrimp for a long life and herring roe for fertility. In some countries, the fish is served whole (head and tail), symbolizing the end of one year and the beginning of another. No lobster or crab – remember they walk sideways and backwards. If you want seafood other than fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, squid, and oysters are all good choices as New Year’s Lucky foods.
Eat noodles for longevity. In China, the New Year’s Lucky Foods meal always includes noodles. Here is the catch, you must eat at least one long noodle in one piece (without chewing) for a good long life, so you will need a big pot to boil them whole and practice your slurping skills. Japan has the same belief and serves long toshikoshi soba noodles on New Year’s Day. Traditionally, they eat them at midnight on New Year’s Eve and the longer the noodles, the better. A common dish prepared in Asia for New Year’s using noodles is stir-fry.
Rice, quinoa, risotto, barley, and other starches symbolize abundance since they swell when cooked. Like noodles, some cultures consume rice right after midnight to attract lots of good luck in the new year. In Indian mythology, rice is used in religious ceremonies, as it’s believed that rice grains can soak up evil energy and any bad omens. Japanese rice cakes (mochi) made from pounded, steamed rice and filled with sweet bean paste are a popular appetizer. In China, they serve Tangyuan, which is sweet rice balls. In Korea, they serve bibimbap, meaning mixed rice in English, is served in a hot bowl with sautéed vegetables, chili, and soybean paste. Many Latin countries serve rice with beans for New Year’s. Rice pudding is served in Sweden and Finland as a lucky dessert. In the U.S., Hoppin’ John and Jambalaya are often served. You can of course substitute the rice in these dishes with quinoa or barley.
Through yoga and holistic healing, many of us are familiar with the various chakra points in the body. The root chakra is said to be the energy center which keeps us calm, grounded, and roots us to our core values and beliefs. To find balance in all aspects of your life and be open to lucky and good energy in the New Year, begin with this chakra. If the root chakra is unbalanced, you may find yourself giving into old habits, patterns, and mindsets that hold you back. People that are grounded tend to be more open, realistic, organized, and practical. According to Ayurvedic Medicine, the roots of a plant are its anchor and the foundation of life, so the theory is that, when you eat these vegetables, you take in that deeply rooted and grounded energy. Incorporate root vegetables as New Year’s Lucky foods and begin the year with a calming and grounding effect on the mind and body. Root chakra foods are potatoes, carrots, radishes, onions, turnips, squash, parsnip, sweet potato, beets, garlic, ginger, and so on.
You can also incorporate spices that have a warming effect on the body such as cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, mustard seed, turmeric, cloves, and black pepper. Of course, we recommend having these foods year-round.
St. Basil’s bread, known as vasilopita, plays an important role in Greek New Year’s traditions. The bread itself is sweet and is baked with a coin hidden in it. At midnight, Greek families turn off the light, and the head of the household slices the cake and shares it among the family. The family member who gets the piece of bread with the coin inside is guaranteed to have good luck in the New Year. France also serves a cake with a coin or small ceramic inside called King’s cake. The cake consists of puff pastry, almond filling, and is famous for its colorful frosting. Doughnuts and fritters are popular in Eastern Europe. In Italy, many make struffoli, which is a dozen small doughnut-like balls placed in a circle, held together by honey and topped with candied fruit and powdered sugar.
Round foods are in the shape of a “ring” and represent the year coming “full circle.”
It’s very easy to incorporate round foods into your lucky foods menu. Doughnuts, cookies, cakes, pancakes, crepes, biscuits, pies, bagels, quiche, quesadillas, brie, and pizzas are all options. Of course, for healthier foods, you can opt for melon balls, sushi, sliced tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, eggplant, potatoes, and other veggies sliced in circles. Get creative and use cookie cutters to make round shapes out of other foods such as polenta, cheeses, and fruits.
Said to symbolize gold, cornbread is a popular New Year’s southern tradition. To ensure extra luck, some people add extra corn kernels, emblematic of golden nuggets. Some like to use a drizzle of honey or honey butter as a topping on their cornbread, due to its golden color, to add even more luck. We found some creative cornbread skillet recipes online that included black-eyed peas & smoked sausage, offering several lucky foods in one serving or make cornbread pancakes for breakfast.
Leftover cornbread can also be used in stuffing, used as breading to make nuggets, as croutons, in casseroles, or to make cornbread pudding.
Although a drink and not a food item, we can’t leave out the champagne. Toast the New Year with champagne or prosecco. In some cultures, they suggest that, right after midnight, you take 3 short hops without spilling your drink and then pour the champagne behind you to leave all of the negative in the past. If your champagne lands on someone else – no problem, as that is supposed to mean good luck for them. Perhaps a bottle of cheap champagne for throwing over your shoulder and a nice bottle for the toast? If champagne is not your thing, you can also have Prosecco or Moscato. In Scotland it’s a tradition to toast the New year with a shot of whisky.