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January 2018

8 New Year Food Traditions Around The World

By | Food for thought | No Comments

Happy New Year! It’s finally 2018!

We thought we would welcome the new year by looking at how other parts of the world celebrate it… with food, of course.


1. Soba noodles, Japan

This tradition dates back to the 17th century, and these long buckwheat noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity. In Japanese households, families believe that consuming a whole bowl of soba at midnight of New Year’s Eve would bring them good luck.


2. Grapes, Spain

12 grapes to be exact.

At the stroke of midnight, the people of Spain eat a grape with every ring of the clock bell to bring luck with every coming month of the new year. This custom began in the 20th century, thought up by grape producers in the country and now is a common tradition in most Spanish-speaking nations.


3. Pickled herring, Poland and Scandinavia

Herring is not only an abundant staple in Europe, the silver fish is thought to symbolize good fortune. Therefore, people believe that eating a plate of pickled herring at midnight would bring a bountiful year ahead.


4. Rice cake soup, South Korea

In South Korea, celebrating the New Year is like celebrating everybody’s birthday. To usher in the new year, Koreans eat a bowl of tteokguk, a meat and vegetable soup with rice cakes and once the soup is finished, everyone grows another year older together. Some believe white rice cakes were used for a clean, fresh new start of the year to come while others believe that it was to wish for affluence as the round shape of the rice cake resembles that of a coin.


5. Lentils, Italy

Italians feast on a dish called cotechino e lenticchie on New Year’s Day, which is a dish of sausage and lentils, to usher in a new year of prosperity. The lentils swell when they are cooked, and are believed to represent coins or wealth.


6. Kransekage, Denmark and Norway

Kransekage (or Kransekake in Norwegian) means wreath cake and is a dessert eaten to celebrate the New Year. It is a tall tower of many concentric rings of cake layered on top of one another. The cake is made out of marzipan, decorated with flags and other decorations and has a bottle of wine or aquavit in the center.


7. Sweet bread, Mexico

In Mexico, a sweet break called rosca de reyes which is baked with either a coin or charm in it is made for good luck. It is believed that whoever eats the slice with the hidden coin or charm will receive good luck in the upcoming year.


8. Champagne, USA

In America, they keep their traditions simple. Most Americans pop open a bottle of champagne to welcome in the New Year.


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