Around the world, friends and family come together over delicious food and drink to celebrate the New Year ahead. However, some cultural traditions stretch a bit further than the fireworks, kissing and toasts that we are accustomed to.
Italy – Lentils
In Italy, it is customary to eat lentils on New Year’s Eve, served at the stroke of midnight. Their coin-like shape, paired with the high fat content of cotechino – a slow-cooked pork sausage served on top of the lentils – is said to encourage wealth to bless those who indulge in them. Whilst most can only manage a small portion of the dish (it is served after a multiple-course meal!), it’s promised that the more lentils you eat, the wealthier you will become.
Philippines – Round fruits
Extending the theme of coin-shaped foods across the globe, locals in the Philippines don their best polka-dotted attire and gather together 12 different round-shaped fruits, one for each month of the year, in an effort to foster wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
Spain – Grapes
Another fruit-based custom, although perhaps slightly more eccentric, is the consumption of grapes in Spain. As midnight arrives, it is customary to eat one grape on each of the 12 strokes, some even prep and peel their grapes in order to achieve maximum efficiency! Whilst the shape of the grapes symbolises wealth, the taste is also thought to provide an insight into the coming year – sweet grapes are a positive sign whilst sour predict bad fortune.
Turkey – Pomegranate
In Turkey, revellers embrace the pomegranate. Delicious as this bejewelled fruit might be, they instead smash the fruit onto their doorways, assessing the amount of seeds that burst out. The more seeds that burst from the fruit the better as they represent fertility in the New Year.
Japan – Soba noodles
In Japan, they have a much more comforting tradition of eating soba noodles to welcome the New Year. The abundant length of the noodles symbolises longevity and prosperity for those who eat them.
El Salvador – Raw egg
Thankfully, this is another tradition in which the food is not consumed! Rather, at the stroke of midnight, locals crack an egg into a glass of water. The following morning, they gather to inspect the yolk of their eggs, the state of which is said to predict the year that they will have.
Do you have any out of the ordinary food traditions for New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments!
Whatever your hopes and resolutions, be sure to welcome the New Year in the best possible way by relaxing with a glass of bubbles whilst one of our experienced chefs prepares an unforgettable meal for you and your guests. It’s still not too late to book here!