New Year’s Eve is always a huge celebration, and many countries have their own traditional way of partying and recipes for the holiday. It’s fun to try new things, especially when a new cycle is about to begin, so many people add and adapt these traditions to their own celebrations.
There are countless food traditions for a new New Year’s celebration. Today, I put together some of the most popular and interesting ones that you can easily adopt!
12 Grapes - Spain
This is one of the most popular food traditions around the world and doesn't really involve cooking. Eat 12 grapes on 12 strokes of midnight, and as you eat each one you make a wish.
This tradition started in Italy, and it’s supposed to give you luck for the next 12 months if you eat 12 fresh grapes between midnight and 12:01 A.M on January 1st.
However, the custom says that if you fail on eating the 12 grapes within a minute, you would have bad luck for the whole new year. Plus, it also says that if the grapes are sour, it would spell misfortune, therefore make sure your grapes are ripe.
Tamales - Mexico
The tamales are indeed a traditional dish from Aztec cuisine, which crossed centuries of history and stayed popular around the region.
Tamales are usually made of a corn-based dough mixture, filled with various types of meat or beans and cheese. They are wrapped and cooked mostly with corn husks or banana leaves, but you’re not supposed to eat them.
This dish is very popular on Mexican holidays, and you can also find them in any Mexican restaurant at any time of the year.
Soup Dumplings - China
Soup dumplings are a traditional Chinese dish, also called XiaoLongBao. The tradition says the more dumplings you eat on New Year’s celebration, the luckier you’ll be.
The dish is originally made of a plain pork filling and wrapped around wheat-based dough. You can also find it in different versions with a pork and crab mixture filling, or even seafood or vegetarian fillings.
Soba Noodles - Japan
Soba noodles are a major New Year’s recipe in Japan, and it is supposed to give luck. It’s an old traditional recipe, dating back to the 17th century, and has symbolized longevity and prosperity since then.
Soba noodles are actually a healthy dish, containing plenty of vitamins B1 and B2 and some other minerals and proteins, and it is usually made of buckwheat flour.
Pork or Sugar Pigs - Germany
In Germany, there are two popular food traditions you can mostly find in any New Year’s celebration from the region. Both involve pigs since they represent money and good fortune in the country.
The Germans have been eating pork, or sauerkraut, on New Year's for generations, believing it would bring luck, then brought the tradition to the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Another traditional German food for New Year’s Eve is sugar pigs. Also known as glücksbringer, they are small pig-shaped candies, mostly made of marzipan. However, they usually aren’t eaten, marzipan pigs are often used as lucky charms. Plus, the tradition is also really popular in some regions of Austria.
Whisky - Scotland
In Scotland, the New Year’s celebrations are called Hogmanay, and they are one of the most important events in their calendar. And although whisky is not a food, the drink has an important and essential role in Scottish New Year’s traditions.
It is said the tradition to drink whisky in New Year’s celebrations dates back to the Viking Era, but that is still debated.
Rice Pudding - Sweden
Although rice pudding might be a popular and casual recipe, on New Year’s Eve, the Swedes have a tradition involving the dessert. The custom involves hiding a single almond in a batch of rice pudding, and whoever finds it is supposed to be lucky for the next 12 months.
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