Lucky Foods for the New Year
In Spain, revelers mark the New Year by quickly eating a dozen grapes at midnight. The fruits are said to be a predictor of the year ahead: Each sweet grape represents a good month, each sour grape a less-than-lucky one.
In the South, eating black-eyed peas shows humility and thus invites good fortune.
In Italy, lentils are served because an abundance of the tiny edible seeds symbolizes wealth.
Foods in the shape of a ring are thought to bring good luck, possibly because they symbolize "coming full circle."
A coin baked into bread is said to bring luck to the person who finds it.
One of Japan's most beloved foods, soba, or buckwheat noodles, are customarily eaten at midnight on December 31, when they are called toshi-koshi ("from one year to another") soba. The noodles symbolize longevity, so the longer they are, the better.
Foods shaped like coins are thought to bring prosperity to those who eat them.
Collards and other greens are considered lucky because they look like greenbacks.
Ham, because of its fat, is served to bring a New Year rich with happiness.
A side of cornbread (with your ham, of course) represents the glories of gold.