A new year is coming; who couldn’t use a little extra insurance in the finance department? Whether you’re on the hunt for an apartment for rent in New York, NY, or a home for sale in Charleston, SC — or just hoping to give your bank account a little boost — there’s always a reason to hope for a more prosperous year ahead.
Around the world, these foods are traditionally expected to bring prosperity, good fortune, and financial health when eaten on New Year’s Day. (They’re also delicious, so it’s a win-win.) Be sure to save room for dessert!
Lentils: These little legumes swell as they cook and look like coins, making them a prime food for prosperity. In Italy, the green variety is eaten with sausage just after midnight for a delicious — and auspicious — year ahead.
Black-eyed peas: In the American South, black-eyed peas are often served on New Year’s Day in a dish called hoppin’ John. Eat them with collard greens for an additional boost of good fortune.
Greens: Leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, and chard not only are good for your waistline, but they’re thought to help your wallet too — especially since their vibrant color and appearance resembles that of paper money. Fill your plate: It’s thought that the more greens you consume, the more fortunate you’ll be.
Cornbread: Its rich yellow hue gives it the appearance of gold. (And when made properly, it’s also more than easy to indulge.) In the South, people often add extra corn kernels to the batter for a double dose of luck.
Pomegranates: If you’ve ever cracked open one of these luscious red fruits, you know they contain a ton of seeds. In Turkey and other Mediterranean countries, eating these seeds is thought to bring abundance to your life — and pocketbook.
Grapes: In Spain, revelers eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve to symbolize each month of the year. A sweet grape promises a marvelous month, a sour grape, a less than stellar one.
Pork: Pigs tend to root their hooves forward and are a bit, shall we say, zaftig. Because of this, eating pork on New Year’s Day is thought to bring an abundance going forward in the year to come.
Noodles: In China and Japan, soba or buckwheat noodles are eaten on New Year’s Eve to symbolize longevity. Just be sure to put the entire noodle in your mouth before breaking it. If grains are more your gear, quinoa, barley, and rice are also thought to bring about abundance.
Fish: A fish’s scales resemble coins, which channels thoughts of prosperity. In Germany, Poland, and Scandinavia, it’s customary to consume herring at midnight, while in Italy, dried salted cod is often on the menu. And the Swedes feast on myriad different fishes, including seafood salad. Yum!
Circular food: Bring on the bagels … and the doughnuts … and the round cakes. Turns out, eating foods shaped like a circle on New Year’s Day is thought to bring about a lucky full-circle year. (Some cultures even hide coins or almonds in the baked goods, which is also said to bring about good fortune.)