©2023 All Rights Reserved Carole Copeland Thomas • (508) 947-5755 • Carole@mssconnect.com
By Carole Copeland Thomas
Happy New Year To You And Your Family!
As we say goodbye to 2019 and give a hearty HELLO to 2020, let’s highlight eight traditional foods served around the world during either New Year's Eve or New Year’s Day. Some may sound so tempting that you’ll want to try one of two of them sometime this year or next New Year’s Day.
The traditions of food always add value and symbolism to cultures worldwide. Please share your food tradition with my network. Share your comments with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2020 bring you inner joy and happiness throughout the next year.
Eight Food Traditions
1. USA Black Eyed Peas: African American Community and Southern Whites
Call it comfort food or Southern soul food, serving black-eyed peas, collard greens (or in my case cabbage), and (often) chicken are served for prosperity and good luck on January 1st in many African American homes across the US. And a white colleague, born in the South, reminded me that he, too, grew up with this food tradition!
And yes, I enjoyed both cooking and eating my black-eyed peas today on the first day of 2020.
2. Spain Twelve Grapes
At the stroke of midnight, they eat one grape for every toll of the clock bell. Some even prep their grapes -- peeling and seeding them -- to make sure they will be as efficient as possible when midnight comes.
The custom began at the turn of the 20th century and was purportedly thought up by grape producers in the southern part of the country with a bumper crop. Since then, the tradition has spread to many Spanish-speaking nations.
3. Mexico Tamales
Tamales, corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and other delicious additions and wrapped in a banana leaf or a corn husk, make appearances at pretty much every special occasion in Mexico. But the holiday season is an especially favored time for the food.
In many families, groups of women gather together to make hundreds of the little packets -- with each person in charge of one aspect of the cooking process -- to hand out to friends, family, and neighbors. On New Year's, it's often served with menudo, a tripe and hominy soup that is famously good for hangovers.
4. Japan Soba Noodles
In Japanese households, families eat buckwheat soba noodles, or toshikoshi soba, at midnight on New Year's Eve to bid farewell to the year gone by and welcome the year to come. The tradition dates back to the 17th century, and the long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity.
5. Philippines Find 12 Round Fruits
For a favorable fortune in the Philippines, it’s not size or color or texture that matters, but rather shape. Avoid rectangles and triangles if you’re visiting this country for its New Year’s celebration, and instead, be on the lookout for anything circular in fashion. The idea is that circles represent coins and bring wealth, so the more circle shapes you can collect, the better. Most locals will attempt to get to 12 round fruits, each representing a month of the year.
6. Denmark Smash Plates
Jump Into The New Year
Tradition says you should—affectionately!—shatter them against the doors of your friends’ homes to ward off bad spirits and welcome happier vibes in the chaos. Another ritual that doesn’t require cleanup is jumping for joy at midnight—literally. As the clock ticks closer to midnight, Danish folk will try to climb to the highest peak they can—on top of chairs, tables, you name it—and jump into the New Year.
7. South Korea Soup For The Soul
There’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup to warm the soul in the winter, but South Korea’s tteokguk, a dish made of broth, rice cakes, meat, and vegetables, is imperative to the country’s New Year traditions. South Korean New Year, known as Seollal, usually falls in late January or early February, and the soup is believed to bring those who eat it good luck in the new year
8. Italy Cotechino con Lenticchie
Italians celebrate New Year's Eve with La Festa di San Silvestro, often commencing with a traditional cotechino con lenticchie, a sausage and lentil stew that is said to bring good luck (the lentils represent money and good fortune) and, in certain households, zampone, a stuffed pig's trotter.
Carole Copeland Thomas and African American Food Traditions
Readers Digest: https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/good-luck-new-years-traditions-world/
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