Getting Lucky

Getting Lucky
By Michelle Swift
Published in January 2013 issue of Flavor616

The New Year, 1/1, is a universal day of symbolism for new beginnings and fresh outlooks. Globally, on this day, people take auspicious measures to assure prosperity, good fortune, happiness, love and success. Depending upon who you are and where you are from, these measures may also determine what you eat. Even if fate is stronger than a bowl of Hoppin’ John, at least you’ll have a happy belly right?

Don’t take any chances, to get lucky this New Year’s, gorge on one or all of the following auspicious foods:

Pork: Any kind of pork will do—be it, suckling pig, carnitas, or ham hocks. Pork is a sign of progress and moving forward. (Fowl are unlucky because they scratch backwards, signifying setbacks.)

Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas and basically anything circular are lucky because of their resemblance to coins (= $$$). Brazilians eat black beans, wear white and hop on their right foot into the New Year.  Filipinos take the circular reference to the next level and even wear polka dots.

Greens: Cabbage, kale, collards, and sauerkraut all represent folded green cash. Southerners in the USA get a triple dose of luck in a bowl of Hoppin’ John involving pork, greens and black-eyed peas.

Noodles: Do not cut or break your noodles—slurp them! This is crucial. Noodles signify long life. Cut them, and your life is shortened. It is customary to slurp noodles with gusto in Japan.

Fish: Go forth and multiply! Fish are symbolic of fertility, abundance, and moving forward. Germans and Poles always have pickled herring at New Year’s.

Grapes: Popular in Spain and Portugal, 12 grapes are eaten—one for each month of the year. If grape number six tastes a bit sour, expect a shaky month.

Let Them Eat Cake!: Baking cakes with a hidden good luck charm or coin is traditional on New Year’s, especially in Greece.  The lucky one who bites into the piece with the charm or coin is bestowed good fortune.

Here’s to getting lucky in 2013!

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