16 Most Lucky New Year's Day Foods for 2024

By Christopher Michel


Ring in the new year with a whole host of lucky foods!

Some New Year's superstitions say that eating just the right foods (and avoiding the wrong ones) at the beginning of the year can help bring you an abundance of luck. We say: It can't hurt!

Curiously enough, almost all lucky food traditions, from Japan to Germany, to New Orleans, to ancient Rome even, seem to follow similar patterns: Long foods equal long life, whether you're talking about German sauerkraut or Japanese noodles. Foods that look like (or are the color of) money will help bring fortune and prosperity, from Roman coin-shaped lentils to dollar-green collards, to golden cornbread.

And if you eat any animals, make sure they're ones that move forward, such as fish or pigs, and not ones that move backwards, such as chicken or shellfish.

Ahead, find 16 foods that will help bring luck, plus our favorite ways to make them.

1: Black-Eyed Peas


For many Southerners, custom dictates you eat black-eyed peas, preferably cooked up in Hoppin' John, served over rice.

The distinctive black and white peas are thought to represent coins (which also appear under the bowl, or even in the pot) and are eaten with something green, such as collards or green peppers. Done correctly, it's supposed to help bring wealth and fortune to you in the new year.

Get the recipe for Hoppin' John Black Eyed Pea Salad.

2: Long Noodles


Long noodles are believed to bring a long life—as long as you slurp them, rather than bite them in half.

This super easy dish is easy to make and tastes good with a variety of other foods — though you may want to avoid chicken. As they scratch backwards, some consider it back luck to eat on New Year's.

Get the recipe for Easy, Peasy Fettuccini Alfredo.

3: Salmon


Because fish swim forward, they're considered a lucky food that represents progress. Not only that, but salmon travel in schools, which is supposed to symbolize prosperity.

This creamy cracker-topping is not only doubly lucky, but also doubly tasty!

Get the recipe for Salmon Rillets.

4: Greens


Collards are lucky in Southern tradition, as they're the color of money.

Get the recipe for Braised Greens.

5: Cornbread


Not all money is green, of course. Some of it's gold! So if you're trying to draw all kinds of wealth to yourself in the new year, it helps to eat something gold-colored as well, such as cornbread. We'd go with this scallion cornbread, which has flecks of green in it, as well.

Get the recipe for Scallion Cornbread.

6: Lentils


The ancient Romans considered lentils lucky for much the same reason we consider black eyed peas lucky — they apparently look like money!

If you want some of that ancient Roman luck, this simple lentil recipe will do it.

Get the recipe for French Lentil Salad.

7: A Peppermint Pig


Credit: Courtesy Amazon

In Saratoga Springs, New York, there was an old-fashioned tradition of breaking up a pig-shaped peppermint candy, and sharing it around with family for good luck!

If you want to try your "luck" with the tradition, the Saratoga Candy company is selling the pigs, complete with a small bag and hammer for breaking one up.

8: Pork


Around the world, luck-minded folks prefer pork (which roots forward) over chicken (which scratches backward) On New Year's. In Germany they prefer pork and sauerkraut (whose long strands lead to a long life).

We think this pulled pork recipe would go good with any of our cabbage dishes.

Get the recipe for Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork.

9: Pomegranates


Pomegranates happen to represent fertility and abundance in Greece.

One of our favorite ways to make them? Dropping a few fresh ones into some homemade chocolate bark. The combination of sweet chocolate and bright, tart pomegranate is unbelievable!

Get the recipe for White Chocolate Pomegranate-Pistachio Bark.

10: Elsinore Pickled Herring



With its silvery scales, herring is another fish that gets called on for luck: both because it moves forward, and because the money-like silver brings fortune.

Fortunately, pickled herring is very tasty. We like it on a thin slice of dark rye bread, with cream cheese and red onions.

11: Ring-Shaped Foods


Any cake that's made in the shape of a ring signifies a "full circle" of luck for the year ahead—which is the perfect excuse to make this toothsome treat to snack on for brunch or dessert.

Get the recipe for Dolly's Donut Coconut Bundt Cake.

12: Grapes


It's Spanish tradition to eat 12 grapes for good luck at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. We think this brown sugar and chopped pecan-topped recipe is the tastiest way to do just that!

Get the recipe for Grape Salad.

13: Citrus


In China, citrus is given at the New Year as a sign of prosperity.

This giftable quick cake is packed with citrus flavor inside and on top. You could also try making our Chocolate-Clementine Pancakes for breakfast!

Get the recipe for Clementine Cake with Candied Orange Slices.

14: Champagne


There's nothing luckier than having champagne on January 1, since drinking it is symbolic of wealth and can bring you prosperity in the new year.

Find our recommendations for the best Champagne.

15: Honey


Honey's said to ensure sweetness for the coming year, a belief that dates at least to Roman times.

Give guests a taste of sweetness — plus some crisp green — with this baked brie!

Get the recipe for Honey-Apple Baked Brie with Fried Sage.

16: Soba Noodles


Buckwheat noodles — called soba in Japan — are a popular first dish of the new year. The long strands help ensure a long life and the buckwheat is extra healthy!

Get the recipe for Soba noodle bowl.

Originally Published: https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1249/new-years-day-lunch/%0A