10 foods believed to bring prosperity in the new year

10 foods believed to bring prosperity in the new year
Photo: Shutterstock, ST, TNP

Prosperity is high up on many wishlists for the new year, and various cultures around the world have beliefs that eating certain foods will help bring good fortune in the year ahead.

In Japan, for example, many restaurants sell Osechi Ryori, which are traditional Japanese New Year foods packed in special bento boxes. Each dish item has special meaning, such as Tazukuri, dried sardines cooked in soy sauce and sugar, which symbolises an abundant harvest.

While in the Southern states of America, eating black-eyed peas just after midnight on New Year's Day will help to attract good luck. To increase your chances of receiving good fortune, some believe you should eat 365 black-eyed peas for each day of the year. (Take note of leap years.)

We've compiled a list of foods from different cultures that may (or may not) bring good fortune for you in the year ahead.

Osechi Ryori

This is a box of various dishes in different compartments eaten during New Year in Japan. Each dish item has special meaning and common items include black soy beans (symbolising good health) and herring roe (symbolising prosperity).

Soba or udon

Another Japanese New Year's Eve tradition is eating toshikoshi-soba or toshikoshi-udon. The dish symbolises wishes for good luck, fortune and longevity in the year ahead .

Pork

In many Eastern European countries, pork dishes are served because the rich fat content of the meat symbolises wealth. Some also say that it is a symbol of progress, because pigs push their snouts forward when foraging for food.

Round fruits

In the Philippines, people gather twelve round fruits on New Year's Eve. The round shapes look like coins and the number twelve is for the number of months in a year.

Grapes

Another country that also eats fruits on New Year's Eve is Spain. Exactly twelve grapes are prepared, and once the clock turns midnight, a grape is eaten for every chime heard. If you manage to eat all 12 grapes by the twelfth chime, you will have 12 months of good luck, as tradition goes.

Black-eyed peas

In the Southern states of America, eating black-eyed peas just after midnight on New Year's Day will help to attract good luck. To increase your chances of receiving good fortune, some believe you should eat 365 black-eyed peas for each day of the year. Do take note of leap years.

Lentils

In Italy, lentils are supposed to represent coins, so eating them on New Year's Eve is supposed to bring more money to the eater.

Vasilopita

Vasilopita, a loaf of bread or cake that is baked with a coin, is eaten on New Year's Day. At midnight, the sign of the cross is etched with a knife across the cake and then the cake is sliced for each person. Everyone gets a slice of cake in order of their ages. The person who receives the slice with the coin is believed to have good luck for the rest of the year.

Green leafy vegetables

In the US where the colour of their dollar notes are green, green vegetables are eaten in hopes that it will bring more money in the year ahead.

Whole fish

Fish is one of the must-haves for the Chinese during the New Year as the word fish in Mandarin sounds like the word for "abundance". It is important for a whole fish to be served to symbolise a good year from start to finish. Word of caution: In Hong Kong, do not flip the fish over, but lift up the spine to get to the meat on the other side, according to CNN Travel. Flipping the fish symbolises capsizing boats - which could be the very opposite of what you wish for.

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