Traditional New Year’s Good Luck Foods for 2024

The new year offers a fresh start and opportunities to improve our lives. As we look ahead with hope and make resolutions, many cultures have traditions of eating certain “good luck” foods on New Year’s Day or Eve for blessings in the coming year. Let’s explore some of the most popular lucky new year’s foods from around the world and consider adding them to our own celebration menus this year!

Traditional New Year's Good Luck Foods for 2024

Southern Good Luck Foods

The American South has several traditional new year’s dishes thought to bring good fortune, money, and prosperity in the coming year. These lucky southern foods center around the themes of wealth, pork, greens, and peas or beans.

Black-Eyed Peas

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day may be the most widespread “good luck” food tradition in the South. The peas resemble coins, so they signify prosperity, while their swelling as they cook symbolizes expanding good fortune. Serving them with greens brings even more luck.

Pork and Sauerkraut

Pork is considered lucky because pigs root forward as they forage, representing progress. Sauerkraut brings luck because cabbage leaves unfold like wads of cash. Enjoy pork roast or chops with tangy sauerkraut, or try Hoppin’ John, a rice and peas dish traditionally featuring ham hocks or bacon.

Greens for Greenbacks

Cooked greens like collard greens, mustard greens, kale, or chard symbolize the green color of money. Season them well and serve greens alongside your black-eyed peas or Hoppin’ John to stack blessings of wealth and abundance.

Cornbread for Golden Riches

Round cornbread molded in a cast iron skillet signifies coins and heralds wealth in the coming year. Enjoy wedges of this lucky bread with your New Year’s spread.

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Prosperous Hispanic Foods

Hispanic and Latin cultures also have symbolic lucky new year’s foods centered on wishes for prosperity.


Lentils resemble coins, so they’re one of the most traditional Hispanic New Year’s eats. Enjoy them in soup, salads, or dishes like lentils and rice. Some believe eating one lentil for each month of the new year brings especially good fortune.

Twelve Grapes at Midnight

As the clock strikes midnight, eating exactly twelve grapes quickly, one after the other, brings good luck for each month ahead. Sweet seedless grapes are preferred. Make it a fun competition to consumption all twelve before the tolls end!

Stuffed Pork Roast

In Cuba and Puerto Rico, a whole stuffed pork roast is traditional, as pork signifies progress. Stuff it with fruit, nuts, chorizo and rice. Roast pork also appears in Cuban black beans and rice.

Round Eastern Lucky Cuisines

Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese New Year’s foods often involve eating round or ring-shaped items that signify coins, prosperity, and the turning of the year.

Dumplings and Spring Rolls

Dumplings, gyoza, wontons, and spring rolls filled with meat or vegetables are all round in shape. Their ring forms symbolize coins and the round year coming full circle. These can be starters or main dishes.

Tikoy (Nian Gao)

This sweet Chinese rice cake is eaten on New Years for prosperity, as its sticky texture indicates. It’s round or molded into a fat coin shape. Other symbolic Chinese cakes and puddings are also enjoyed.

Whole Fish

In Chinese culture, a whole fish signifies togetherness and abundance for the coming year. Leave the head and tail on while cooking and serving for optimal luck. Steaming or baking keeps it intact.

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Prosperous Produce and More

Fruits, vegetables, eggs, and grains are used in good fortune foods across many cultures. Their seeds, sprouts, and new shoots represent new beginnings.

Pomegranates and Oranges

In Greek culture and beyond, breaking open a pomegranate after midnight on New Year’s releases plentiful seeds and good luck. Sweet, juicy oranges also promise prosperity.

Legumes and Grains

Beans, peas, lentils, and wheat berries contain many seeds, symbolizing fertility and abundance. Whole grains like barley and rice also indicate health, wealth and wisdom entering life in the new year.

Leafy Greens

In many cultures, cooked leafy greens represent money and prosperity, while sprouts and microgreens indicate new beginnings. Toss some good fortune greens or sprouts into dishes.

Pickled Vegetables

Long lasting pickles, like beets, green tomatoes, and sauerkraut represent prosperity for years to come and are enjoyed in Poland and Germany on New Year’s Eve.

Unique Traditional New Year’s Good Luck Foods

  • 12 Grapes at Midnight (Spain) – As the clock strikes 12, quickly eating 12 grapes is thought to secure good luck for the 12 months ahead. Have sweet, seedless grapes on hand to competitively consume.
  • Lamb or Goat (Greece and the Middle East) – Whole lamb or goat symbolizes leadership, guidance, and progress into the new year. Roast lamb is also enjoyed in Germany and the Czech Republic.
  • Chestnuts (Italy) – Chestnuts resemble coins and signify wealth. They can be roasted, pureed into soups or desserts, or candied like marrons glaces.
  • King Cake (New Orleans or Mexico) – Circular cakes with coin-shaped candies baked inside bring monetary blessings and luck to whoever gets the slice with trinkets.
  • Soba Noodles (Japan) – Long buckwheat noodles represent longevity and strength. Their length also harkens to a long life.
  • Challah with Raisins (Jewish Culture) – Sweet circular loaves stuffed with raisins make this braided egg bread extra prosperous and lucky.
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This new year, consider incorporating cultural symbols of good fortune into your menu as you gather with loved ones. Simple additions like round dumplings, pork dishes, lentils, greens, or black eyed peas can offer tasty tidings for 2024. Mix traditions or focus on your ancestral foods of luck. However you celebrate, enjoy the shared blessings of health, hope and happiness in the coming days.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do black-eyed peas symbolize?

Black-eyed peas resemble coins and their swelling as they cook symbolizes expanding good fortune, making them one of the most traditional Southern New Year’s lucky foods.

What Hispanic fruits and vegetables bring luck?

Lucky Hispanic fruits include grapes (eaten twelve at midnight) and pomegranates (cracked open after midnight). Lucky vegetables include all varieties of beans and legumes, which resemble prosperity when dried, while lush greens represent wealth.

Why are dumplings considered good luck?

Dumplings, gyoza, spring rolls and wontons are all round in shape, signifying coins and the circular nature of the new year coming full circle. Their ring forms specifically symbolize prosperity for the year ahead.

What parts of a fish should you leave on for luck?

To represent togetherness and abundance in the Chinese New Year, the head and tail should remain attached to a whole lucky fish while cooking and serving. Steaming and baking avoids separating parts.

Which pickles signify blessings?

Long-lasting preserved vegetables like beets, green tomatoes, and sauerkraut represent prosperity for years to come in Polish and German cultures. A few slices or spoonfuls make symbolic lucky additions to the table.