As the clock strikes midnight and we welcome the dawn of a new year, cultures around the world celebrate with a myriad of weird and wonderful customs! From symbolic dishes to mighty feasts, these food traditions are deeply rooted in history and superstition, believed to bring luck, prosperity, and good fortune for the coming year. Let's explore some of the ways people ring in the New Year across the globe!
Grapes for Good Luck
In Spain, the tradition of eating twelve grapes at midnight symbolises twelve lucky months ahead 🍀 As each grape is gobbled with each stroke of the clock, it's believed to bring prosperity and ward off evil for the coming year! Grape, anyone?
Japanese New Year, known as Oshogatsu, is marked by Osechi Ryori, a meticulously prepared assortment of dishes with symbolic meanings. Each dish, painstakingly arranged in bento boxes, represents wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity for the year ahead!
US Black-Eyed Peas
In the Southern United States, particularly in regions like the Carolinas and Georgia, eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is a longstanding tradition believed to bring good luck and wealth.
Lentils for Prosperity
In Italy, lentils take centre stage during New Year's celebrations. These lovely small legumes, apparently resembling coins, symbolise wealth and prosperity, and are often consumed in dishes like zampone or cotechino con lenticchie.
Dumplings for Wealth
Chinese New Year, celebrated in many parts of Asia although not on the 1st day of our calendar year, sees the tradition of making and eating dumplings. These delicious parcels, resembling gold ingots, again symbolise wealth and prosperity for the coming year!
Fish for Abundance
In Brazil, it's customary to feast on fish on New Year's Eve. Fish is also - you guessed it - a symbol of abundance and prosperity believed to bring good fortune for the coming year!
How about Pies?
New Year's food traditions around the world reflect cultural beliefs and superstitions. These customs connect people and communities, fostering a sense of unity and celebration as they welcome the new year!
At Chunk, we believe the joyous celebrations of New Year should involve a pie or two (naturally!), so let’s start a new tradition here on British turf and ring in the New Year with pies 🥧 Maybe we'll trial a special New Year pie containing lentils, fish or dumplings (and probably not grapes?!).
go on - take a Chunk!