New Year’s Eve 2016: Simple Ways to Celebrate

In the United States, nearly every region has its lucky foods associated with the New Year.  Here is our list of favorite foods guaranteed to bring good fortune in the coming year.

  1. In the American South, black-eyed peaspig-1218072_640-1 are thought to bring good fortune, especially when cooked with collard greens (for wealth) and pork (to make the luck stick). A common way to serve this is to boil the black-eyed peas with pork bones until soft, then drain and add collard greens and fried pork jowls (or, if you live in the north, bacon), or served with extra pork on the side.  This can be dished out over a bed of rice to make Hoppin’ John.  To make this meal even luckier, serve with a slice of corn bread (for more wealth) or have a pig roast.  Remember to eat as much as you can:  According to the superstition, the bigger the portions, the more luck you’ll get!
  2. In Pennsylvania, manyfunny-183484_640 German-American families eat pork (representing health and well-being) with a side with sauerkraut (for wealth), although pork and beans and split-pea soup are popular variations of this in Germany. For vegetarians who want to good fortune, don’t worry:  Marzipan and chocolate pigs are said to bring the same good fortune as their bacon-y equivalents.
  3. On the East Coast (and in some partsoyster-426796_640 of the Midwest), Oyster Stew is the lucky food of choice. The oysters are stewed in a rich creamy broth, sometimes with potatoes and a bit of garlic.  If you don’t have time to make your own, but need a bit of fast luck, you can pick up a can at your local grocery store.  When I was growing up, my family would boil a can of Campbell’s oyster stew just after midnight, and each person would eat a bowl before going to bed.
  4. On the West Coast, 12 grapes are eatengrapes-1688139_640 at midnight to bring fortune for each month of the coming year. In order to ensure that you only eat sweet grapes (rather than sour grapes that represent misfortune), we recommend that you select a sweet, dark cultivar like concord grapes rather than the green table grapes most commonly found at the grocery store.  This custom is also seen in Mexico and Spain.
  5. In Minnesota and other Scandinavianmaties-948364_640 areas in the Midwest, pickled herring are a lucky food. Because the migratory patterns of herring have historically been very variable, catching enough herring to have some left for the beginning of the New Year was already considered lucky.  It was hoped that eating these fish on New Year’s Day would bring further prosperity.

Happy New Year!

Posted December 31st, 2016 by Admin
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