Winter greens: Hardy winter greens, like collards, cabbage, chard and kale, are symbolic of folded money (“greenbacks”), and eating them is believed to ensure economic good luck. In fact, the more greens you eat, the more prosperous you’ll be, so be sure to put this recipe on your menu.
Noodles: The longer the noodle, the longer the life, according to many Asian cultures. But be sure not to eat broken noodles or bite them before they’re completely in your mouth!
Beans: Any variety of dried beans (including lentils) represents coins; because they get larger during soaking and cooking, eating them at the new year is believed to help increase wealth. Black-eyed peas are commonly eaten during new year’s celebrations in the southern United States. Often beans are paired with pork, and because pork has its own good luck connotations, dishes like sausage and lentil stew are particularly loaded with luck!
Pork: In many cultures, pigs symbolize progress making pork a popular new year ingredient all over the world. Its high fat content also points to richness. Cooks in the American South often simmer ham hocks with collard greens at the start of a new year, nestling a dime in the cooking pot. The person who gets the dime in their serving of greens can look forward to a very good year ahead!
Fruit: Many fruits are symbolic of luck in different cultures: pomegranates, representing fertility and prosperity, are eaten in Mediterranean countries, and citrus (especially tangerines and oranges) is a sign of wealth in China. In Spain, it’s customary to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each stroke of the clock and month in a year.