For many, January 1 offers an opportunity to forget the past and make a clean start. But instead of leaving everything up to fate, why not enjoy a meal to increase your good fortune? There are a variety of foods that are believed to be lucky.



New Year's revelers in Spain consume twelve grapes at midnight—one grape for each stroke of the clock. Lately, each grape then represents a different month, so if for instance the third grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month. For most, the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight.


Cooked Greens

Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, and chard, are consumed at New Year's in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It's widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one's fortune next year.



Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of money. Their small, seedlike appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. In Italy, it's customary to eat cotechino con lenticchie or sausages and green lentils. Germans also partner legumes and pork, usually lentil or split pea soup with sausage. In the Southern United States, it's traditional to eat black-eyed peas in a dish called hoppin' john. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year.