New Year celebrations are all about embracing new beginnings, looking back at the good memories of the year gone by, and following traditions for prosperity. Many countries around the globe have various traditions related to this joyous day. Some of these include preparing special dishes and enjoying them with family and friends on New Year’s day. For instance, in India, different states eat different dishes on New Year – Puran Poli in Maharashtra, Ghila and Til Pitha in Assam, Chhatua or Bela Pana in Odisha, Gur ke Chawal and Gur ke Kheer in Punjab, and more. Similarly, other parts of the world enjoy different dishes to welcome the New Year. And we have listed some of them below. (Also Read | Happy New Year 2023: Best wishes, Shayari, images, greetings, messages to share with family and friends on January 1)
Foods traditions from around the world
Soba noodles, Japan
Many Japanese slurp down bowls of delicious buckwheat Soba noodles or Toshikoshi Soba to welcome the New Year. They enjoy the dish at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the year gone by. This is the reason why they are also known as year-end noodles. Additionally, the noodles used in the New Year dish are lengthier than typical Soba to symbolise longevity.
For the uninitiated, Tamales are corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese and other delicious additions. It is a traditional Mesoamerican dish which is wrapped in a banana leaf or a corn husk. Tamales are prepared for almost every special occasion, including New Year’s. In many families, groups of women gather together to make hundreds of Tamales to hand out to friends, family and neighbours.
Kransekage, Denmark and Norway
Kransekage or Kransekake is a traditional Danish and Norwegian sweet dish which translates to wreath cake. It is a stack of baked and decorated circular cakes layered atop one another. The cake is made using marzipan (a confection consisting primarily of sugar, honey, and almond) with a bottle of wine in the centre. People also decorate it with ornaments, flags and crackers.
Twelve grapes, Spain
In Spain, it is customary to eat 12 grapes right at midnight on New Year’s Eve, representing good luck for each of the coming 12 months.
Hoppin’ John, United States
The Hoppin’ John dish is generally consumed in the Southern part of the United States. It is a rice and peas dish made with Black-eyed peas, rice, chopped onion, green vegetables, and sliced bacon/ham hock seasoned with salt. Enjoying this dish on New Year’s invites wealth and good luck. The Black-eyed peas were first introduced in the United States by Africans who carried the dried legume with them from West Africa.
Lentils and Cotechino Sausage, Italy
Lentils and cotechino sausage are eaten in Italy after midnight on New Year’s Eve, with their coin-like shape nodding to luck and prosperity. It is a hearty Italian dish from the northern Italian region of Umbria.