Hopefully, 2012 was an awesome and successful year. If not, that kind of sucks. On the bright side, there are some good luck remedies you can conjure up for the New Year. Do they work? Heck if we know, but trying never hurts.
We present to you five foods to help you get lucky in 2013.
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Said to bring prosperity and award off witches--because we know you are so worried about that--the tradition of eating grapes at midnight dates back to a Spanish custom that was centralized in 1909. The established practice is to eat twelve grapes with each strike of the bell at midnight on the New Year. While clock bells aren't exactly common place these days, the custom continues, and has been switched to consuming all twelve grapes within the minute. What started with Alicante grape growers attempting to sell all of their fruit, has continued on throughout most of the Spanish and, for that matter, Portuguese speaking world. Each of the twelve grapes is said to represent each consecutive month. Sour grapes are supposed to indicate bitter months. We suggest sussing out the grapes before the clock strikes twelve.
Throughout the world legumes, in general, are said to bring financial prosperity. Let's be honest, they do slightly resemble coins--misshaped, that is. In the South, Black-Eyed Peas are the New Year's bean of choice. Served in a dish called Hoppin' John--a combination of the peas, rice, and the South's favorite animal, pork--the tradition dates back to the Civil War. There are now multiple variations to the tradition such as eating the dish with cornbread, which represents gold, or greens, which represent paper money. For the best chance of luck in the New Year, it is said that eating 365 peas to represent every day of the year results in the best fortune. Kind of sounds like fiber overkill to us.
Fish in its many prepared incarnations--whole, dried, boiled, pickled, roe--is a popular good luck food across the world. In China the word for "fish" has a similar pronunciation to "abundance." The Japanese eat a variety of different seafoods for luck--big surprise. In Europe, cod has been the feast food of choice since the Middle Ages due to its ability to be transported and preserved. In Poland and Germany, herring is consumed at midnight--and it's pickling liquid most likely used to cure the following days hangover. The forward moving creatures are meant to symbolize moving ahead. Make sure to stay away from lobster, due to their backward movement, they are thought to bring setbacks. Hey, a New Year's sushi platter--sans lobster--sure isn't going to hurt.
Noodles are amazing every day of the year, but on New Year's they are meant to signify longevity. They are eaten on New Year's day in many Asian cultures. However, the noodles cannot be broken or shortened before they enter your mouth. Typically prepared in a stir-fry or even a soba noodle soup, this is the one occasion in which it is perfectly fine to slurp up your food. If you're trying out this tradition at a party, we suggest wearing a bib.
Pork and, well, its fat are kind of in right now anyway, but many cultures have long-standing traditions with consuming all things of the porcine persuasion. Whether its the animal itself or pig-shaped cookies, candies, or whatever else can be dreamed of, these foods are intended to symbolize progress and prosperity. This may be due to their forward movement--you might want to ask a pig-farmer if they can move backwards--their feeding habits, or their high fat-content. Either way, from Latin America to Europe, they are said to be good luck. Besides, who doesn't love a nice New Year's sausage?
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