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Buncombe County News 

This news item expired on 1/1/2014, so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
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New Year's Food Traditions


  • Eating noodles at midnight is customary at Buddhist temples in Japan. 
  • A German/Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day for good luck.
  • It is the tradition of Bosnia & Croatia (both of former Yugoslavia) to eat what is called "Sarma" or beef wrapped tightly in cabbage to bring good luck in health and wealth for the upcoming year.
  • It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.
  • German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.
  • Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.
  • In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year's Eve will bring luck for the coming year.
  • Also from the south comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money.
  • One more from the Southerners: eating cornbread will bring wealth.
  • The Southern custom of eating greens can be found in other cultures as well, although the cabbage can take many forms, such as sauerkraut or even kimchee.
  • Boiled Cod is a New Year's Eve must in Denmark.