What to Eat for New Year’s Luck and Why

The first day of a new year is fresh with possibilities. What changes will the next twelve months bring? What will happen in your relationships, finances, health, and career? Thinking about these topics prompts many people to set goals, dream dreams and make plans for the next year—but before you do anything else, think about this: what’s lucky when it comes to New Year’s Day?

Growing up, did you ever eat sauerkraut, black-eyed peas, collard greens, roast pork, or donuts on New Year’s Day? Well, legends say that what you eat on the first day of the year can dictate what kind of luck you’ll experience in the next twelve months. Sound crazy? It may be. Then again, if eating lucky food could bring you a fresh start in the new year, wouldn’t it make sense to give it a try? If you’re up for betting on a great start to a new year, consider some of these luckiest foods and incorporate them into your New Year’s Day plans!


Leafy greens are more than good for your health. Eating them on New Year’s Day is considered a symbol for bringing in more green—i.e., the paper kind—into your life in the coming year. If that sounds like the kind of luck you’re willing to hope for, why not go all out: drink a green smoothie for breakfast, make a big salad for lunch and eat sautéed greens as a dinner side dish for good measure!


Here’s another way to boost your financial luck in the new year: eat beans. Like greens, beans symbolize money. When you eat a lot of them, you metaphorically eat bundles of coins coming your way, so why not? Make a big stew, add some cooked lentils to a salad or make your favorite hummus dip to wish for better financial returns in the new year.


It’s hard to think of a more symbolic way to wish for prosperity and plenty than with the portly, plump pig. People eat pig on New Year’s Day to let this animal’s abundance rub off on them. You can eat the pig any way you like, in bacon and eggs, ham sandwiches, sausage pizza, prosciutto-wrapped dates or you name it!


With their coin-like scales, fish is another lucky meal idea that works beautifully for celebrations and feasts. Long loved by Catholics on meat-free holidays and popular as far back as the Middle Ages for its ability to be preserved and transported, fish has been said to symbolize everything from fertility to long life.

Foods Shaped Like Rings

Ah, the circle of life. Just as one year ends, another begins, and so it goes. Start New Year’s Day with a breakfast of ring-shaped foods—bagels, doughnuts, bundt cake or the like—to symbolize the way a year comes full circle.

What will you eat this New Year’s Day—and what luck may come your way because of it? There’s only one way to find out. Try these five ideas to make your year better and brighter than ever!