Discover which foods around the world bring luck when eaten on New Year's Eve, and learn how to pronounce them.
Learn how to say Happy New Year in all languages.
“Chi mangia uva a Capodanno conta i quattrini tutto l’anno”, this Italian proverb says: those who eat grapes on New Year’s Eve, spend the year counting their money. In Italy, eating grapes during New Year's Eve Dinner brings prosperity and good luck. In Spain and Mexico, though, just eating grapes is not enough: you need to pop exactly a grape for each stroke of midnight, for a total of 12 grapes, one each month of the year. For each grape, a wish must be expressed. Only then, wealth, good fortune, and success will be guaranteed.
Buon anno (Happy New Year in Italian) and Feliz año nuevo (Happy New Year in Spanish).
Eating leafy greens is always a good habit, but eaten on New Year's Eve, in US and UK, it’s even better: they bring money, banknotes to be precise. This American and British tradition must find its origin in the resemblance of dark leafy greens to paper money. Happy New Year!
Having dried fruits on New Year's Eve bring good luck in France. Be careful, though, to make sure that the consumption will be really effective, you have to eat 13 different kinds of dried fruit. In Italy, it’s easier: just 7 kinds of dry fruits will do the trick. Bonne année (Happy New Year in French).
Lentils look like small round beans, they are low in fat and high in protein legumes, and they are a must in Italy and Brazil, during New Year's Eve dinner. In Italy, lenticchie, as lentils are called, become a side dish to Cotechino, a sort of pork sausage boiled. Lentils and pork, served together, will bring wealth in the oncoming year. Feliz ano novo (Happy New Year in Brazilian).
In Asian countries, rice, barley, quinoa, and all that grows in grains, assure good luck if consumed during the celebration of the new year. In China, eating noodles is particularly recommended during New Year's Eve dinner. Be careful, though, you have to avoid breaking them while eating: the only possible way is slurping them right from the bowl. Xīnnián kuàilè (Happy New Year in Chinese).
Along with all the foods which bring luck if consumed during New Year's Eve, we cannot miss pomegranates. This delicious and juicy fruit symbolise altogether passion, health, and money. In Greece, it is not about eating it, but smashing it outside your front door. The purpose is to break it and spread it on the floor: the more seeds are scattered, the more money is coming. Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos (Happy New Year in Greek).
Whole roasted fish are believed to bring good luck when eaten during New Year's Eve. The scales, with their silver colour, symbolise money and wealth. In the Czech Republic, the traditional fish to celebrate the oncoming year is the carp, a freshwater fish. According to Czech tradition, a carp scale must be preserved for good luck. Šťastný Nový Rok (Happy New Year in Czech).
In Germany, Poland, and Scandinavia, the ultimate New Year's Eve lucky food is herring. When eaten at midnight on December 31st, this particularly pungent fish brings good luck and helps to overcome hangover. Ein gutes neues Jahr (Happy New Year in German); Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku (Happy New Year in Polish); Godt Nyttår (Happy New Year in Norwegian); Gott Nytt År (Happy New Year in Swedish).
Romanians aren't interested in food that brings good luck, they are more concerned about those that bring bad luck. In Romania, chicken, turkey, and any bird with wings must not be eaten during New Year's Eve dinner: all the animals with wings will make the fortune fly away.
La mulţi ani (Happy New Year in Romanian).