New Year food traditions from around the world | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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It is time to say goodbye to 2021, and welcome 2022 with a wide smile. This year has been different on quite a few many fronts, some good things happened, and some bad. It is all a part and parcel of life, but as we hop into a new era, we wish you all good luck, health and prosperity.

Almost everyone around the world, plans something special to welcome the New Year; some raise a celebratory champagne, others eat their favourite food and some resolve to eat only healthy stuff in New Year. Somewhere down the line, we are all hoping that the year to come brings in heaps of luck to us and our loved ones.

You might find it a little extraordinary, but across the globe, there are certain New Year food traditions that people follow as they are said to bring in good luck. Here are some of those traditions that will fill up your table with good luck dishes.

Glücksschwein, a good luck pig

In Germany, it is believed that a pig is a symbol of good luck and there are theories which prove it. So, with a view to wish others luck, traditionally on New Year’s marzipan pigs are gifted or eaten for dinner. These adorable little pigs, arranged nicely on the table, are sometimes seen to have some sort of a symbol of good luck in their mouths like the four-leaf clovers, coins etc. So if you want to get lucky in the year to come, then try making marzipan shaped as a pig today!

Black-eyed peas

The next tradition on our list hails from the Southern African American culture. According to the legend, anything round or specifically the black eyed peas represent coins, the cabbage or collard green represent cash notes, and the golden colour of cornbread represents wealth. So if you want to make it rain money in the New Year, get to the kitchen and start working on these three and you’ll be all set. Here is a recipe for your help.


The next one is from Turkey. During Christmas time, people hang pomegranates outside their house. And on New Year’s Eve, one lucky person is chosen to smash the pomegranates open in front of the door. The more the pieces it breaks into and the further its seeds or pearls spread, the better the fortune in the New Year. The ruby red colour of pomegranates represent life and the multiple seeds represent abundance and prosperity. Don’t worry if you don’t want to get your house messy, then you can simply cut a pomegranate open and make a tasty Anar Raita and relish it for good luck.


This one is absolutely a unique tradition, believed to have started in Spain around 1900. On New Year’s Eve, people in Spain gather in front of the square's clock tower virtually or physically to celebrate. At midnight, when the clock strikes 12, they eat 12 grapes as quickly as possible. Legend has it that each of the 12 grapes will bring luck for the twelve months ahead. You might as well make a nice grape soda make your way into the New Year’s.

Now that you have been acquainted to the traditions from around the world, you can try them for yourself. Once again, we wish you all a prosperous new year!

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.