New Year's Traditions Around the World

All around the world, people celebrate the coming of the new year! It's an exciting time filled with happiness, food, drink and tradition. People around the globe have their own sets of traditions and their own foods that they eat on New Year's. Maybe you can start a new tradition by trying out someone else's tradition!

new years plate

>> Read more: Ring in the New Year with Good Luck Foods

Roast Suckling Pig: For good luck, Austrian families make a roast suckling pig. It also goes by the name Sylvesterabend, referring to Saint Sylvester. Pigs are a sign of good luck, prosperity and to bring advancement in the future. Other countries like Cuba, Hungry and Portugal eat roast suckling pig on New Year's as well!

Soba: Or Toshikoshi Soba in Japan. They are buckwheat noodles and are also known as the year crossing noodles, so they're perfect for the first meal of the new year! Other popular New Year's meals in Japan are sweet black beans, herring roe, rolled kelp, rice cakes and shrimp.

Kransekage: This is a tall, cone-shaped cake with many rings layered on top of one another. It's often eaten in Denmark and Norway. It is made with marzipan and decorated with flags and firecrackers. It's a fun, festive cake to adorn your holiday table!

tall norway pastry
(Photo: Thomaserex)

Sweet Bread: In Mexico, they are known as Rosca de Reyes. The sweat bread is baked with a coin or charm inside for good luck. It's then cut into slices and whoever gets the coin is believed to have good luck for the year.

Fried Donut Pastries: The Netherlands call these Oliebollen. They are often filled with delicious apples, currants, raisins and sprinkled with powdered sugar!

>> Read more: Here's a Roundup of Our Favorite Healthy Donut Recipes

Black-Eyed Peas and Collared Greens: In the southern United States, people like to cook up a tasty plate full of these delicious peas and greens! They believe that peas show humility, which then invites good fortune. Also, greens are considered lucky because it's the same color as money.

>> Recipe: Slow Cooker Southern Black Eyed Peas 

Pfannkuchens: Sounds like a mouthful, right? Well, it's German, what did you expect? This traditional German New Year's meal is jam- or liquor-filled donuts. Some even consider it bad luck when a person fills a donut with, let's say mustard, as a prank.

Round Fruits: In the Philippines, people believe that round shapes represent coins and are believed to bring prosperity in the new year. They will decorate their tables and fill their meals with round fruits like oranges and apples.

fresh-fruit-pile copy

Cotechino E Lenticchie: An Italian meal of savory pork sausage, which also contains the hoof of the pig and is paired with lentils. The hoof is said to be the symbol of abundance for the new year while the lentils symbolize good luck and prosperity because they look like little coins.

Goose with Oysters and Foie Gras: This is, of course, from the lovely country of France, which always seems to have a way of making any meal an extravagant occasion. Goose with oysters and foie gras is a traditional New Year's meal that can also be substituted for turkey instead of goose. It is often served with champagne!

Pickled Herring: Poland believes that this fish will bring prosperity and bounty into their lives for the new year. It is often eaten with smoked and pickled fish, pate and meatballs.

Rice Pudding: The Swedes have a fun little game they like to play with this meal. They will put an almond in the rice pudding and whoever finds it has good fortune for the next 12 months!

>> Read more: 5 Tried and True Ways to Start The New Year Off Right


Grapes: Sounds sparse, but don't worry, that's only part of the meal! Spain likes to skewer grapes to figure out how many good and bad months they'll have in the new year. They will eat 12 grapes at midnight and every sweet grape is a good month while every sour grape is a bad month. You can easily make this a tradition at your home! Just thread 12 grapes onto a skewer and serve in a glass of champagne.

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart
(Photo: Martha Stewart)

Source: The Daily Meal