It's difficult not to feel a little superstitious at the start of a new year—once the Champagne has been popped and the ball has dropped, there's an entire year to face! While this is exciting, it's also a little scary, which is likely why so many cultures have customs that revolve around eating food for good luck in the new year.
In many Asian countries, people eat long noodles to symbolize longevity and the Spanish and Portuguese eat 12 grapes at midnight for each month of the upcoming year. And despite being neither Southern nor Jewish, my mom invites our neighbors and friends over every New Year's day to eat black-eyed peas (that custom is said to originate from Rosh Hashanah traditions thousands of years ago!). Just in case, she says. This New Years, cover your bases with these 28 foods for good luck in 2016:
Long noodles for longevity (eaten in China, Japan, and other Asian countries):
Grapes for good luck for each month (eaten in Spain and Portugal):
Pork for progress (eaten in Hungary and Austria):
Pomegranate for prosperity (eaten—or rather, smashed on the ground—in Greece):
Black-eyed peas for humility and good fortune (eaten in the South):
Lentils for growing wealth (eaten in Italy):
Whole fish for abundance (eaten in China):
What do you eat for luck on New Year's? Do you follow any of these traditions? Tell us in the comments below!