Egg Education

New Year Food Traditions

New Year Food Traditions

As we approach the new year, we often reflect on the importance of traditions and new beginnings, as they can have a significant impact on our culture. In Ontario, we’re fortunate to have a diverse population that celebrates and shares unique cultural practices. We’d like to take a moment to highlight some unique New Year food traditions celebrated by different cultures around the world. We hope that sharing these traditions will inspire you to think about practices in your own families and communities, and how they can be meaningful for students in your classroom. 


New year food grapes


In Spain, grapes symbolize good luck as we count down the new year. Each person has a total of 12 grapes to start. Each grape represents a month of the coming year. Eating each grape at each chime of the clock at midnight guarantees a lucky year.


New year food pomegranate


In Greece, the youngest child in the family smashes a pomegranate from those hanging inside the home. The more seeds that scatter, the more luck the family is said to have in the coming year.


new year food noodles


In Japan, soba noodles are enjoyed in the coming year. Dry soba noodles break easily when bitten. This symbolizes a clean break and a fresh start for the new year. Eating a bowl of soba noodles means good fortune in the year ahead.


new year food pretzels


In Germany, big soft pretzels are enjoyed on New Year’s Day. In the 17th century, kids wore big pretzels around their necks as a symbol of health, good luck and prosperity.


new year food orange


In China, New Year celebrations include enjoying citrus fruits such as oranges. Citrus fruits are a symbol of good luck, happiness and fortune.


new year food eggs


In El Salvador, eggs are part of New Year traditions. A fresh egg is cracked into a glass and let on the windowsill overnight. If the egg is still fresh in the morning, it symbolizes good luck in the coming year.

People all over the world have different ways of celebrating the new year with food. As we go into the new year, let’s keep the traditions we love and try new ones that help us learn and have fun!

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