OK, to the not-so-wonderful year that was 2016 is now behind us. Raising a glass of appropriate bubbly to surviving, and toasting that 2017 is going to be better.
New Years’ traditions - fireworks to welcome in the new year, dispel evil spirits and bring good luck, smooching a perfect stranger in the middle of a cold Times Square, NYC amidst a million or more of your BFFs. These are a good start. But then there are the food traditions:
In the United States (southern tradition), enjoying pork (pigs “root forward”), black-eyed peas and greens, cornbread, Hoppin’ John, and pot likker soup is supposed to bring good luck.
In Spain, eating 12 grapes, one each at the strike of the clock at midnight, is to bring good luck and happiness.
In Italy and Brazil, eating lentils is to bring wealth and prosperity.
In Japan, slurping long soba noodles without breaking or chewing them will bring long life.
In Greece, a pomegranate is smashed on the floor in front of the door to reveal good fortune and prosperity. The more seeds, the more luck. (I’d recommend just opening up the pom and popping those wonderful arils in your mouth!)
In Poland and Germany, pickled herring are eaten at midnight to ensure a year of bounty and prosperity. (They’re silvery, like coins!)
In Mexico, a coin or a special trinket is baked into a ring-shaped cake decorated with candied fruit. Whoever finds the coin or trinket will be lucky in the new year.
In Sweden and Norway, a single whole almond is cooked into rice pudding. Whoever gets the almond will have great fortune for the coming year.
FOOD - the tradition of sharing, enjoying with friends. It always brings us together around a table, enjoying company, laughter, wonderful tastes, and allowing us to experience a camaraderie of friendship. Here’s to continued good health and friendship.
What are you bringing to the table as the New Year starts?