"Chi mangia uva a Capodanno conta i quattrini tutto l’anno" (Italian proverb)
(Those who eat grapes on New Year’s Eve, spend the year counting their money)
Learn which foods bring luck and how to say Happy New Year in all languages
In Italy, eating grapes during New Year’s Eve dinner brings prosperity and good luck. In Spain and Mexico, though, just eating grapes does not do the job: you need to pop exactly a grape for each stroke of midnight, for a total of 12 grapes, which symbolizes the 12 months. 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, it’s even better: they bring money, to be precise, banknotes. This American and British tradition must find its origins 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 really work, 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).
Resembling small round beans, these low in fat and high in protein legumes are a must for Italians and Brazilian, during New Year’s Eve dinner. In Italy, lenticchie, as lentils are called, become a side dish to Cotechino, a sort of pork sausage. Together, lentils and pork, 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, they need to be eaten avoiding to break them… the only way possible 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 symbolize altogether passion, health, and money. In Greece 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).
Fish are believed to bring good luck when eaten during New Year’s Eve, especially if roasted whole. The scales, with their silver colour, symbolize money and wealth. In the Czech Republic, the traditional fish to celebrate the oncoming year is the carp, a freshwater fish. According to tradition, a carp scale must be kept 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 the herring. When consumed 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 are more careful about foods that bring bad luck, than about those which bring good 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).