Happy New Year, everyone! Although my standing theory is that each day we wake up is a new start to the year, it’s always fun to see the first of the year roll in.
I always used to think that it would be wonderful to spend the night before the new year dawned camping on a mountain top. I’d wake up to the sun coming up on the first day of the year, make breakfast over a camp fire, then drink my coffee while watching the sun rise up over the mountain.
Then I remembered how a sleeping bag, even on top of an air mattress; makes my back ache. Then who knows what critters seeking warmth in the night might have crawled in with me? And then there is the business of boiling coffee in a can over the fire; it ends up tastes more like can than coffee.
But that was always my go-to fantasy for the start of a new year. These days I am perfectly content to wake up in a clean, warm bed with a firm mattress, fresh coffee in the pot, and a ready selection of breakfast-y things.
Which makes me think of all the New Year “lucky” foods around the world I’ve heard of:
- In Spain, people eat twelve grapes at midnight—one grape for each stroke of the clock.
- In some countries cooked greens, such as cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are eaten; their green leaves look like folded money, so are considered a sign of good fortune.
- Danish folks enjoy stewed kale sprinkled cinnamon and sugar.
- The Germans eat sauerkraut.
- In our South, collards and black-eyed peas insure good luck.
- In Italy, sausage and green lentils are consumed
- For the folks of Brazil, the first supper of the new year is usually lentil soup or split peas soup with sausage.
- In Japan, a gathering of symbolic dishes (called “osechi-ryori”) are eaten in the first three days of the year.
- In Cuba, Portugal, Hungary and Austria, roast suckling pig is the traditional New Year’s meal.
- In Sweden, pork dishes like pickled pig’s feet are eaten. (Note: Why pork, you ask? Pigs symbolize progress.)
Then there are all kinds of “lucky” sweets and cakes around the world. Suffice it to say that all of us on the planet enjoy our lucky foods for the new year.
Whatever this bright new year brings, and whatever you choose as your own lucky food for the start of the year—let’s go into this year with hope and gladness. Hope because that is what motivates us and pushes us forward to new interests, new friends and new ideas, and gladness for all the old and cherished things close to our hearts.
Whatever way you choose to celebrate the brand new 2017, enjoy it immensely.