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In cultures around the world, the new year is celebrated with particular foods and recipes thought to bring good fortune. Symbolizing wealth, long life, and prosperity, these seven dishes are an auspicious and delicious way to celebrate the holiday and welcome good things in the coming year. 

Pork and Sauerkraut

Tender braised pork (along with other forms of pork, like sausages and roasts) is a symbol of abundance in Celtic and Chinese cultures, and is popular amongst the Pennsylvania Dutch on New Year’s Day. Paired with the cabbage in sauerkraut, a Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity, this easy braise with apples and onions is one tasty pot of good luck.   

Black-Eyed Peas, Greens, and Cornbread

Traditionally eaten in the South on New Year’s Day, this trifecta of ingredients represents three different types of money. Leafy greens represent dollar bills, the round peas (which are actually a type of bean) symbolize coins, and cornbread is the color of gold. 

Grapes

According to Spanish lore, eating 12 grapes as the clock chimes midnight on New Year’s Eve will bring you 12 months of good luck. Incorporate this tasty tradition by adding grapes to your holiday cheese board or dessert platter. Or try this delicious side with savory sautéed Brussels sprouts (mini cabbages for extra luck), sweet grapes, and crunchy walnuts.

Pomegranates

In Greece, smashing a pomegranate on the floor to release the seeds is a surefire way to bring good luck. The seeds represent abundance and fertility; the more seeds you see, the luckier you’ll be. Instead of smashing, sprinkle that good fortune over peak season oranges, mixed greens, and prosciutto for one colorful celebration of a salad.

Fish

Fish are thought to represent progress and abundance because they constantly swim forward and group together in schools. In Czech culture, the scales of the fish are considered lucky because they resemble silver coins (carrying one in your wallet is said to ensure money will never run out). Celebrate the new year abundantly with a centerpiece-worthy tilapia topped with vibrant, chunky olive-pepper sauce.

Noodles and Rice

No Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year) celebration is complete without a bowl of noodles. Symbolizing longevity and health, noodles are always left whole, and breaking or cutting a long strand is considered bad luck. Nourish a long life with our slurp-worthy longevity noodles with meaty, umami-rich shiitake mushrooms. 

Cakes

Ring-shaped cakes such as Bundts are a sweet way to celebrate coming full circle from the previous year. In cultures around the Mediterranean, a coin is baked into the cake and thought to bring wealth and good fortune to the lucky recipient who finds it. Holiday favorite Sticky Toffee Cake is a perfect dish to carry on this tradition, just be sure to warn your guests before they take a bite. 

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