7 Lucky Foods to Eat on New Year's Day

Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, and Ham
Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, and Ham | Photo by Meredith.

You might say you're not superstitious, but why tempt fate? Dig into these traditional lucky foods on New Year's Day to attract abundance and prosperity in the year ahead.

01 of 08


Pork Gyoza on a blue plate

Pork for progress! Pigs root around with their snouts moving in a forward motion, which is why many cultures around the world eat pork on New Year's Day to symbolize progress for the coming year.

02 of 08


Balsamic Roasted Grapes on a white plate

In Spain and Mexico, eating 12 grapes at midnight is said to bring you luck for the 12 months ahead. (It's not as easy as it sounds. Make this recipe for your New Year's Eve party, and hold some grapes aside for your good-luck gobble.

03 of 08


bowl of Spiced Pears with Pomegranate recipe
Jennica Reis

Seeds have always been associated with fertility. In Greece, they hurl whole pomegranates to the floor to release a flood of seeds that symbolize life and abundance.

04 of 08


Baked Salmon Fillets Dijon

So many fish in the sea. Maybe that's why they symbolized abundance in the new year around the world: Asian cultures feast on whole fish to celebrate Lunar New year, while on the other side of the globe, Europeans eat cod, herring, and carp. And while you don't eat the silvery scales, they do stand for an abundance of coinage.

05 of 08

Noodles and Rice

chicken soup with rice noodles

Noodles, especially extra-long noodles, are thought to bring long life if eaten without breaking them in the middle. Rice symbolizes fertility and wealth.

06 of 08


A golden brown cake, with a slice removed, is resting on a cake pedestal. The top of the cake is dusted with powdered sugar.

Ring-shaped cakes and other rounded sweet treats bring a full circle of luck to the eater. In some traditions, a coin is baked inside to bring an extra serving of fortune to the one who finds it.

07 of 08

Black-Eyed Peas, Greens, and Cornbread

Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, and Ham
Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, and Ham | Photo by Meredith.

Even folks who aren't from the Southern United States go all in on eating black-eyed peas and leafy greens for good luck on New Year's Day. Add a slice of cornbread, and you've got "peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold."

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