New Year’s Food Traditions and Their Meaning

New Year's Food Traditions and Their Meaning - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

My grandma has been cooking New Year’s dinner for my family since I can remember. She’s a great cook, but even her skills couldn’t get 12-year-old me to want to go near the sauerkraut – even though she told me it would bring me luck in the New Year. Call her superstitious, but she’s not alone.

Across the world, various cultures indulge in foods that are supposed to bring wealth, prosperity and abundance in the New Year. From pork to ring cakes, each tradition has meaning. Want to know what to eat for good luck in 2014? Then read on!


Pork is one of the more common main dishes served on New Year’s Day. There’s an old tradition that says eating pork will bring you good luck in the New Year. Pigs are very round and they root their hooves forward, indicating you’ll have abundance going forward

Not a pork fan but still want favor in 2014? Eat fish. Their scales resemble coins and since they swim in schools, they represent abundance.


Ever heard that you should eat sour cabbage for a sweet new year? It’s an old German tradition, and works nicely since sauerkraut goes well with pork.

Eating legumes has been said to bring wealth for centuries, predominately because they resemble coins, but also because they expand when cooked, symbolizing expanding wealth. In the south, black-eyed peas are the New Year’s bean of choice.

Other traditional southern sides are greens for their resemblance to money, and corn bread for its golden color.


Eating twelve grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve is a Spanish tradition. Each grape represents a month of the year. If you have a sweet grape, that month will be good, but a sour grape signifies a bad month.

Pomegranates, which began as a Mediterranean tradition, have made their way across the ocean. They’re consumed on New Year’s to represent abundance and fertility. Likewise, figs symbolize prosperity.


Wishing for a sweet 2014? Try a ring cake. Shaped like a ring, this dessert stands as a symbol for life coming full circle.

Do you have other New Year’s feast traditions? Let us know about them in the comment section!


Stay Connected How you want, when you want


See the latest from ZING


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Connect with Facebook