New Years Traditions around the World
No matter where you go in the world, the most treasured traditions often center around the kitchen, and eating great food with people you love. This is certainly the case when it comes to New Year’s traditions. In New Orleans kitchens, you’ll find families gathering around meals of pork, greens or cabbage, and black eyes peas. Others forgo pork for the more decadent raw oysters and champagne.
Legend Interiors designs and installs beautiful custom kitchen. We like to think of these custom New Orleans kitchens as places to create new family traditions and enjoy those passed down from generation to generation. To celebrate the New Year, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best New Year’s food traditions from around the world, starting right here at home in New Orleans:
The South (USA): Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
There’s nothing more humble than a plate of beans. Popular belief states that eating humble foods such as black-eyed peas on New Year’s brings good luck. Serve that up with a plate of smothered greens or cabbage, which represent money, and you’ve got a New Year’s meal to make any southerner proud.
Much like the New Orleans cabbage tradition, Germans celebrate the New Year with sauerkraut, a pickled cabbage dish, to bring wealth and good fortune to the home.
Greece: Sweet Bread with Hidden Coins
The Greek celebrate the New Year with a baked sweet bread called “vasilopita.” Similar to the New Orleans king cake baby tradition, people in Greece hide a small coin inside the bread and the person who gets the coin will have extra good luck for the New Year.
Scotland: Scotch (of course)
The Scottish New Year, Hogmanay, is celebrated with a “wee dram” of good local Scotch, heart-felt toasts, and a rowdy singing of Auld Lang Syne, written by Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet.
Italians traditionally eat lentils on New Year’s Day because they are said to resemble small gold coins, so they will bring wealth in the New Year.
Spain & Mexico: Grapes
Mexican and Spanish alike celebrate the New Year by eating twelve grapes in quick succession, to represent the twelve months of the year. Local people believe that the flavor of the grapes is an indicator of the year to come, so if you try this New Year’s tradition, hope for sweet grapes, not sour ones.
Sweden and Norway: Rice Pudding
Another tradition involving hidden treats, people in Sweden and Norway enjoy New Year’s day rice pudding with a whole almond hidden inside for good luck.
The beloved Japanese dish of buckwheat noodles, called Soba, is customarily eaten at midnight on December 31, and are called toshi-koshi which means “from one year to another”. The long noodles symbolize longevity, so longer noodles are considered especially lucky.
Denmark: Dish Throwing and Jumping Off Chairs
It may sounds a little strange, but some Danish people celebrate the New Year by jumping off chairs when the clock strikes midnight in order to rid themselves of bad luck and bring good luck. Another fun Danish traditions is throwing plates at neighbor’s doors to symbolize friendship.
Oysters are both abundant and popular in France. On New Year’s day, Paris restaurants serve them up in beautiful displays with lemons and champagne. Perhaps this is one of the reasons New Orleans folks love a good oyster celebration to ring on the New Year.
All around the world, happy revelers celebrate the New Year by toasting with sparkling wine, whiskey, sake, or other alcoholic beverages. Here at Legend Interiors, we’d like to raise our glass to all of our friends, family and customers, and wish you all health, happiness and prosperity for the coming year!