Celebrate with 8 New Year's Eve food traditions from around the world!

We’re talking New Year's food traditions around the world! Plus, we talk about how to start your own New Year's food tradition—a "kitchen sink" list!

Whether you celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31st, or at a different point in the year, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: no matter where you are in on the map, New Year’s is all about the food. Today, we’re taking you on a round-the-world trip to discover some tasty New Year’s traditions, and we’ll teach you how to start one of your own as well: the “kitchen sink” list. 

Does your family have any special food traditions for New Year’s? Not surprisingly, most New Year’s Eve traditions feature foods that bring good luck, or that emphasize abundance for the new year. Some dishes are even supposed to have the power to foretell what the next year will be like! Get inspired to taste-test some of these treats with your kiddos—just don’t forget to leave a little food on your plate before midnight to ensure prosperity!

In Mexico and Spain, you’re supposed to eat 12 grapes—one at each stroke of midnight.  Depending on whether they taste sour or sweet, this dish predicts your year ahead, since the taste of each grape represents either a sweet month or a sour month! Try serving them on a skewer in a glass of something bubbly to drink. 

In many European countries, New Year’s is known as Sylvester or St. Sylvester’s Eve. In France, you celebrate with croquembouche; and in Holland with ring-shaped treats (think donuts, olliebollen or our no-fry breakfast bundles) to symbolize coming full circle.  

In Ireland, New Year’s is known as Oiche na Coda Moire, or “night of the big portions!” To ensure prosperity, a big feast was always cooked on the last night of the old year. In fact, in some parts of Ireland, you were supposed to aim to eat all the food in the house! The day after New Year’s used to be known as Day of the Buttered Bread—try this great recipe for Irish Soda bread together while you read up on it!

In Scotland, Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) is celebrated with gifts of rich shortbread—here's an easy version to make at home!

In Norway and Sweden, rice pudding is a traditional New Year’s dish—and the person who finds an almond hidden in their pudding can be sure of prosperity and luck for the upcoming year. 

In Japan, long soba noodles are slurped up for longevity at midnight. We love this recipe from Mijune Pak for a fresh twist on soba. 

In Italy, lentils and pork or cotechino sausage are a favourite New Year’s dish—the lentils resemble coins, and the pork is good luck. Here’s a tasty sausage version to try.

If you liked reading about these recipes and other New Year’s traditions around the world, you can find more of them here. In fact, if meal time’s usually a match of wits, you might find some of these ideas will be a hit with your kids, especially the Danish tradition of jumping off your chair into the new year for good luck (although you might want to skip throwing plates at your neighbour’s doors!). 

Interested in starting your own tradition for New Year’s? Instead of writing down resolutions this year, suggest a “Kitchen Sink” list to your family—a list of all the different food projects or foods your family wants to try over the course of the year. Pull out your cookbooks (or browse our recipes, project ideas and activity ideas), find something mouthwatering and get ambitious. Write down each idea on a slip of paper and put them in a jar—then, whenever you have time for a bigger project, or the kids are ready to level up their skills, pull out a slip! Have fun trying all of your ideas over the next year—here are just a few to get you started! 

    5 great Father/Kid cooking projects
    Science, rainy day and kitchen magic projects
    Tutorials for starting a kitchen garden: outdoor, indoor or micro-sized.

    And of course, follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more great ideas to get your year started off right!

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