Food and Drink

11 Foods to Eat for Good Luck in the New Year

Noodles for longevity, cornbread for gold, and fish for success.

Photo by jazz3311/shutterstock
Photo by jazz3311/shutterstock
Photo by jazz3311/shutterstock

Is there a better way to ring in the new year than eating? Maybe drinking, but that’s not what we’re discussing today. And while you could overload on chips and dip with champagne, why not eat foods that will supposedly bestow your life with prosperity in the new year? There are New Year’s resolutions to be made and goals to achieve-we need all the luck we can get once 2022 rolls around.

Luckily (pun intended), there is a sundry of foods that, when eaten on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, are said to call forth good fortune in the coming 12 months. Here are 11 foods to eat for good luck in the new year.

Photo by Andrey Filippov/Flickr
Photo by Andrey Filippov/Flickr
Photo by Andrey Filippov/Flickr

Pomegranates

Seeds are associated with fertility and life, so eating pomegranates may just be the key to a lively new year. In Greek culture, a pomegranate is placed outside the home and smashed on New Year’s Day. The more seeds that scatter during the initial smash, the luckier the year that lies ahead will be. In Turkish culture, pomegranate seeds are also celebrated for fertility, so if you’re attempting to start or grow a family, you might want to stock up.

Black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas, simmered into a stew with ham hock and collard greens, is known as Hoppin’ John or Carolina Peas and Rice. It’s a traditional meal in the South eaten on New Year’s Day. There are a couple of myths surrounding the luck associated with black eyed peas. Some say the shape of black-eyed peas-which are actually beans-represent coins and therefore encourage wealth. Others trace the humble black eyed pea back to Civil War era, where the beans are said to have prevented families from starvation. Whatever the reason, black-eyed peas continue to remain a traditional lucky food to have on January 1 throughout much of the South.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Leafy greens

Did you know that downing a kale salad is good for more than just your health? Leafy greens, like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce, are symbolic of cold, hard cash. They’re the same color and crispness of a fresh dollar bill, which is why it’s considered lucky to eat leafy greens when seeking wealth in the new year. As the Southern saying goes, “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.”

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MODELO
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MODELO
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MODELO

Pour up the good times with your family and friends this holiday season. No matter what (or where) you’re celebrating, Modelo‘s crisp, smooth taste is just what you need to make your festivities feel like a fiesta. Since its creation in 1925, it’s clear why the rich golden lager has been brewed to be the model beer. Today, it’s the number one imported beer in the U.S. So before heading to your next holiday party, grab a pack and be the life of the party.

Drink responsibly. Modelo Especial® Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL

Cornbread

Any excuse to eat cornbread is OK in our book. In many of the southern states in the US, cornbread is considered lucky due to its golden brown color-which is said to bring gold and wealth in the upcoming year. So slather on some butter, dig in, and maybe pair it with a bowl of Hoppin’ John for extra luck.

Photo by Khushbu Shah for Thrillist
Photo by Khushbu Shah for Thrillist
Photo by Khushbu Shah for Thrillist

Noodles

Different types of noodles are consumed across Asia in the new year and symbolize longevity. In Japan, toshikoshi soba-a meal composed of buckwheat noodles in a steaming broth of daishi, soy sauce, and mirin-is a common meal to consume on New Year’s Eve; a healthy and simple way to start the new year off fresh. In Chinese culture, yi mein noodles, the satisfyingly chewy and brightly yellow egg noodles, are stir-fried and said to encourage long life. Whatever type of noodles you fancy, slurp them up and you may not be only full but also blessed with a long and fulfilling life.

Photo by T Photography/Shutterstock
Photo by T Photography/Shutterstock
Photo by T Photography/Shutterstock

Grapes

In Spain and Mexico, it is tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, representing the 12 months within a calendar year. It is believed that the luck you’ll possess each month is dependent on the sweetness of the grapes; if you come across any tart grapes, then make sure to prepare yourself for a bumpy month that corresponds with the sour grape you consumed.

Cake

We will joyously consume cake for any occasion, so this whole luck thing just feels like a bonus. Round cakes are typically considered lucky due to their shape-they somewhat resemble coins and are thus thought to bring forth wealth in the new year. In Greek culture, friends and family gather around for a vasilopita, a zesty orange cake that often has a coin baked inside. Whoever receives the slice with the coin in it gets extra luck for the new year and usually a gift or prize. So bust out your cake pan and bake yourself some luck for 2022.

Photo by Wally Gobetz/Flickr
Photo by Wally Gobetz/Flickr
Photo by Wally Gobetz/Flickr

Pork

If you’re looking to personally advance in the new year, pork may be a good option for you. Pigs are animals that root forward as they sniff out and eat food, and therefore emblematic of progress in the year. The tradition spans across continents; from roasted lechon in the Philippines to (technically not pork but I digress) marzipan pigs in Northern Europe to pork and sauerkraut dishes served in the States. As noted in The Morning Call, eating pork is “part superstition and part tradition… like a Pennsylvania Dutch-style insurance policy for the new year.” The fattiness of pork is also related to luxury and wealth, so don’t hesitate to fry up some bacon to start off the new year.

Photo by Perry Santacote for Thrillist
Photo by Perry Santacote for Thrillist
Photo by Perry Santacote for Thrillist

Fish

If you’re looking for an alternative protein to eat when ringing in the new year, why not try fish? It’s alleged that the shimmery scales look like coins, and in some Eastern European cultures they are saved and placed in a wallet in hopes of acquiring more wealth. Fish also represent abundance due to the fact that they swim in large schools. Across myriad cultures-from steamed whole fish in China to Polish pickled herring-fish are consumed in hopes of a year full of success. Whatever the preparation, it wouldn’t hurt to eat an extra serving or two.

Photo by Marco Verch/Flickr
Photo by Marco Verch/Flickr
Photo by Marco Verch/Flickr

Oranges and tangerines

Oranges and tangerines are typically passed out during Lunar New Year to call forth prosperity, so it’s only natural that these citrus fruits have made their way to our Gregorian calendar celebrations as well. The bright color evokes joy and the Chinese word for a mandarin orange, kam, is a homonym for the word “gold,” thus making the mandarin orange an extra lucky piece of fruit.

Photo by Joey Doll/Flickr
Photo by Joey Doll/Flickr
Photo by Joey Doll/Flickr

Lentils

Lentils are eaten across the world for the new year because the tiny legumes are said to look like little coins, which will bring prosperity in the coming year. From Italy, to the Czech Republic, to Brazil-whether prepared in stew, served with pork, or eaten over rice-lentils might help you pad out your bank account in the progressing months.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat!

Kat Thompson is a senior staff food writer at Thrillist. Follow her on twitter @katthompsonn.

Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.

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