There are New Year’s traditions from all around the world and they don’t always have to do with New Year’s Eve. Try to incorporate these good luck traditions from around the world into your New Year’s Day or week. Not only will these bring you luck, but you can teach your children about the different cultures and why some cultures find certain things lucky. This will not only be a food endeavor but a cultural one as well.
As parents, we must always find ways to keep our children’s curiosity going and keep them developing into stunning adults. On New Year’s Day make some lucky foods and share where they come from and why they are so lucky. Here are some ideas below. Please note you don’t have to make all of these it’s just a suggestion you can simply pick one or two items, but the kids will love this and so will you.
Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
Though this tradition is known in the Southern United States for bringing good luck it’s not just the Southern United States where this is eaten for good luck; some European countries also do this. Black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread are a common New Year’s Day meal that is said to bring good luck. By good luck we mean riches.
The Black-Eyed peas represent you gaining pennies, the greens represent you gaining dollars, and the cornbread represents you gaining gold (or at least today enough to buy gold.) Even if you don’t believe this is good luck it will make for a lovely meal and some fun conversations with your children.
Pork is a very popular food for good luck. Many places around the world such as China and Germany find this item to be good luck to eat on New Year’s Day. Why pork though? Well, Pork is thought to represent progress and keep your year moving forward in the right direction. This stems from the fact that pigs move their snouts around in the dirt in a forward motion.
It’s quite a bit of symbolism. You can even take this a step further and ask your children what they will do to move their futures forward this year and make their luck better.
Grapes aren’t just wrathful it seems. They are also good luck. This one you will have to do at midnight, but it’s a fun activity and grapes are a healthy fruit. In Spain and Mexico, they believe that eating twelve grapes at midnight this will bring good luck for the twelve months ahead.
Hint: This should be done with older children 10 and above.
Pomegranates are another fruit that is supposed to bring you good luck in the New Year. Many cultures around the world (mainly Mediterranean) believe that this will symbolize life, fertility, and abundance in the new year. In Greece, they throw a whole pomegranate at the floor to symbolize abundance.
I personally recommend just eating the fruit and explaining what other cultures do with it and feel about it. You should explain to your children the concept of abundance and why it’s important. This will follow them the whole year. It’s also a lesson that will stay with them if you teach it correctly.
Fish is another lucky food in many European and Asian countries around the World. This is another good opportunity for abundance teaching and omegas! In Asia they eat the whole fish to celebrate the Lunar New Year this is supposed to bring them abundance and wealth.
In Europe, they also believe this will bring them abundance and wealth, but the difference in Europe is that they eat mainly cod, herring, and carp. While no one in Europe actually eats the silvery scales of the fish it’s supposed to stand for money in the new year.
Noodles and Rice
Noodles and rice seem like a very starchy combo, but eaten together they are supposed to bring plenty of good luck over the next year. Rice symbolizes fertility and wealth. I would probably stick to the wealth part with the children, but that’s entirely up to you.
Each grain of rice is seen as a bit of money in the eyes of Asian cultures. Rice noodles in Asia also bring in good luck. If you get extra-long noodles they are thought to bring you longevity if you eat them without breaking them in the middle. So, do not break those long noodles. Longer life sounds good to me.
Cakes are always a part of any celebration, but specifically, ring-shaped cakes and other rounded sweets are thought to represent a full circle of luck and life to the eater. In many Greek traditions, a coin is actually baked into the cake and is said to bring extra wealth and luck to the person who gets it in their bit of cake.
I don’t recommend baking a coin in, but something as simple as a Bundt cake can make for some delicious eating and a whole lot of fun for the whole family.