New Year’s Eve Food Traditions From Around the World

Want one easy way to increase your luck in the New Year? Eat!

Chowing down on certain foods on New Year’s Eve is said to bring you luck. There are also a few foods you’ll want to think twice about eating...

Lucky Foods

Green Foods = Money

Resembles green US cash.

Legumes = Coins

Used for currency in the past and resembles coins.

Pork = Progress

A long-standing tradition in the US and other areas of the world, pigs are known to symbolize progress because they root themselves in the ground before pushing forward. It is common to pair legumes and pork together.

Grains = Abundance

Since grains are often grown in abundance.

Cornbread = Gold

Popular in the southern states in the US.

Noodles = Longevity

It's popular in Asian culture to eat soba or buckwheat noodles at midnight. Make sure not to cut them accidentally or on purpose, this symbolizes cutting someone’s life short! Sounds like it might be a stressful meal.

Grapes = Predict the Future!

In Mexico and South America, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes before the clock finishes striking midnight, one for each month. If you get a sour one, that month is said to be unlucky.

Round Fruit (Such as Oranges) = Good Luck

Eat 13 if you live in the Philippines and 12 if you live in the US (for each month of the year). It symbolizes good luck!

Pomegranates = Luck, Fertility & Prosperity

In Turkey the healthful properties of pomegranates are said to promote luck and health including fertility. Their round seeds symbolize prosperity.

Ring Shaped Cakes = Coming Full Circle

Often cakes are baked with a coin inside. The finder of the coin is thought to have the best luck that year!

Herring = Luck and Abundance

Their scales are said to shine like money and they swim in schools of abundance.

Unlucky Foods


Ill-advised because it moves backward symbolizing setbacks.


Ill-advised because it scratches backward symbolizing drawbacks.

Poultry or Fowl

Your good fortune could quite literally fly away.

White Foods

In Asian culture white food symbolize death so those are strictly avoided.


Considered bad luck especially if cut into or brought on a boat.


In Italy the superstition is that sniffing basil will lead a scorpion to your brain.


Thought to be bad luck to gift it (not sure why you would).

Hallow Bread

Superstition is that it symbolizes a coffin so you might want to pass on the bread.

One last thought… Make sure to leave a little something on your plate during that midnight meal. This is thought to lead to prosperity and full cupboards in the upcoming year!

Maria * - Jan 1, 2018
In Greece on New Year's Day we break a pomegranate on the stairs of the homues's main entrance. Once everyone has woken on New Years Day, the head of the family (usually the older member, grandfather or husband) cuts the cake,, a piece for each member of the family, from the oldest to the youngest. If you find the hidden coin, you are considered to have good luck for the whole year!
lou anne - Jan 2, 2017
some call it HOLLOW some call it HALLOW (lavas)
Sharon Reuter - Jan 1, 2017
What is "Hallow" bread? Should it be "Hollow"?
lou anne - Dec 31, 2016
what about saurekraut and dumpling?
Linda Graham - Dec 31, 2016
Note: other recipes on this site mention "starting the New Year" with the recipes posted.
Linda Graham - Dec 31, 2016
Our 'Lucky" foods are generally eaten on New Year's DAY, not New Year's Eve. Our traditional meal for both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve has always been oyster stew. For New Year's Day, it's black-eyed peas, collard/mustard/turnip greens, and cornbread. Been that way in 5 generations of my family - that I know of.
Lori Kaye - Dec 31, 2016
My daughter and her boyfriend are planning to make lobster for dinner tonight. I just texted this to her and suggested that they reconsider!