Planning ahead is key because if you follow New Years Traditions and Superstitions, there are lots of things you shouldn’t do on New Year’s Day, like using a knife, throwing out the garbage, or doing a lot of cleaning. So, in our family, we get as much ready as possible before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Lucky Foods for New Years Day. Make sure you are prepared ahead of time. New Year Lucky Things to Do – New Year’s Eve Traditions
Ring in 2024 with these traditional lucky foods to attract prosperity, love, and good fortune in the new year.
Why Do People Eat Specific Foods on New Year’s?
Eating certain foods on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is thought to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Many of the traditional lucky foods have symbolic meanings or cultural significance. For example:
- Round foods represent coming full circle and continuing cycles.
- Fruits and vegetables rooted in the ground symbolize grounding and stability.
- Greens and seafood represent wealth and money.
- Pork and lentils represent prosperity.
- The whole fish symbolizes beginnings and endings.
- Certain spices, nuts, and seeds have various good luck associations.
These lucky foods vary across cultures, but many are seen again and again in traditions around the world. Keep reading for the most comprehensive guide to New Years lucky foods!
Here is our New Years Lucky Foods Shopping List:
Round Fruits & Vegetables
Round fruits for good luck: Round fruits and vegetables symbolize the cyclical nature of the New Year beginning again. Please keep in mind that all fruits are fine to use. The round shape represents the ongoing nature of time and the year coming to a close or full circle, which is why there is a focus on eating round fruits. There are tons of options, but some top picks are:
- Fruits: oranges, grapes, apples, pears, pineapple, pomegranates, oranges, figs, pineapple, mango, lemon
- Vegetables: cabbage, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes
Slice and arrange your fruits beautifully on a platter for your NYE party or family feast.
Round vegetables & rooted vegetables for good luck: Root vegetables growing downwards in the earth are thought to ground you and provide stability for the new year. The same goes for vegetables. They are all fine, and none will bring bad luck, but for added luck, go with fruits that have a round shape or those that grow with roots to help ground you in the coming year.
Great options include:
- Sweet potatoes
Roast a medley of root veggies as a lucky side dish or appetizer. Add onions and garlic to any other dishes you’re cooking.
Leafy greens, especially those with green coloring, represent money, financial prosperity, and good fortune. Load up your table with the following:
- Broccoli rabe
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
Saute greens in olive oil or cook a big pot of lucky greens soup or stew to share.
Proteins for Good Luck:
Pork & Ham
In many cultures, pork symbolizes prosperity, progress, and financial good luck for the new year. Pork dishes thought to attract wealth include:
- Baked ham
- Pork tenderloin
- Pork chops
- Pork roast
- Pork belly
If you don’t eat pork, other rich meats like Cornish game hens or lamb chops make acceptable substitutions. We are making Lucky Dumplings this year with pork!
Beans & Legumes
Many cultures eat black-eyed peas, lentils, or other beans on New Year’s for prosperity. Their round shape and ability to swell when cooked make beans symbolic of expanding financial growth. Options include:
- Black-eyed peas – Black Eyed Peas & Lentil Recipes
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
Simmer beans slowly with vegetables and broth for a well-rounded, lucky side. Spice it up by adding sausage or pork.
Fish & Seafood
Fish and seafood represent good luck for increasing wealth in the new year. Fatty fish like salmon that swim against currents demonstrate determination in overcoming hardship. A whole fish symbolizes the completion of a life cycle. Good choices are:
- Whole Red Snapper, trout or bass
- Shellfish like shrimp, clams, oysters or lobster
Grains & Starches
Grains like rice, quinoa, barley, and starchy sides like potatoes represent an abundant, prosperous year to come. Build your menu with:
Serve an assortment of grains family-style so guests can fill their plates with these symbols of plenty.
Desserts & Sweets
Ring-shaped or spherical desserts and baked goods resemble the cyclical nature of the new year. Other desserts use lucky ingredients like fruits and nuts. The top options are:
- Cinnamon Buns
- Fruit pies & tarts
- Dried fruit
- Nuts like almonds & walnuts
A DIY dessert bar with an assortment of cookies, small cakes, pies, nuts, and chocolates hits all the right notes!
Spices & Seasonings
Certain herbs, spices, oils, and vinegars are considered lucky New Years foods across cultures:
- Basil – for prosperity
- Nutmeg – good health & fortune
- Cinnamon – success
- Cloves – attracting money
- Garlic – wisdom & strength
- Ginger – success & power
- Pomegranate seeds – fertility & abundance
- Olive oil – peace & happiness
- Balsamic vinegar – sweetness in the new year
Cook your New Years feast with lucky herbs and spices blended into each dish. And offer a signature cocktail with olive oil and balsamic!
New Year’s Lucky Foods By Region
Some lucky New Year’s foods are specific to certain cultures and ethnic traditions. Here are a few examples:
- Black-eyed peas, rice, cornbread, collard greens, ham hocks
- Lentils, rice, raisins, fish, champagne
- Toshikoshi soba noodles, dried persimmons
- Sticky rice cakes
- Grapes, marzipan, turrón nougat
The most important thing when prepping your New Year’s menu is ensuring you do all your shopping ahead of time! Since many cultures consider it bad luck to use knives, cook, clean, or do laundry on Jan 1st, get everything chopped, prepped, and ready to throw in the oven before midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve! Foods That Bring Good Luck for New Years
We hope these ideas help you ring in an abundant, prosperous, lucky 2024! What are your family’s New Years food traditions? Let us know in the comments!