New years eve food traditions


For SHA Wellness Clinic
Thursday December 31st, 2015
Healthy nutrition

How is New Year’s Eve celebrated all over the World? Which are the New Year’s Eve food traditions in Countries like Japan? We travel around the World in such a special day to bring all the answers!


SPAIN – 12 lucky grapes

Having 12 grapes at 12:00 of December 31 is a fully Spanish tradition that has been spread to other Hispanic countries as Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica. Interestingly it is also celebrated in Hay Flat, South Australia.

The origin of this Spanish tradition seems to be in an ordinance of 1882, when the mayor of Madrid, José Abascal, imposed a rate to get out to celebrate Twelfth Night (January 5). In protest, those who could not afford such a high rate, gathered in the Puerta del Sol the night of 31st December to taunt the bourgeoisie, which was by that time copying the usual dinner (champagne and grapes) imported from France and Germany. The joke became really popular quickly in Madrid and the grapes oversupply of 1909 did the rest…


ITALY – Lentils

A plate of lentils is what you’ll find if you spend New Year’s Eve in Italy. The ancient belief “The more you eat, the more you win” actually comes from the Roman era. The Romans gave away these pulses at the beginning of the year for them to be converted into coins, ie, as a symbol of abundance and wealth.



In the Philippines, Midnight is celebrated on the night of December 31. A party that symbolizes the hope of prosperity and good luck for the New Year. The curiosity of this festival is that the foods served are round, since they symbolize money. The most common are fruits with circular shape as oranges or grapes.


JAPAN – Osechi Ryori

A large feast consisting of various dishes is served in Japan, all of them symbolizing good luck, prosperity and health. For example, kobumaki are rolled algae related to happiness, or kurikinton, sweet chestnut puree symbolizing fortune at work.


FRANCE – Champagne

The famous bubbly drink discovered by the French monk Pérignon is not missing in any self-respecting French celebration let alone on New Year’s Eve.
Toasting with a glass of champagne for the future is already a custom in most houses in the world.


MEXICO – Tamales, Hallacas, or Cakes

In many countries in Central and South America these dishes are traditional during the month of December. The dough and filling may vary depending on the country and also the preparation is very different, but this Indian origin bite is still present in the table with the turkey, grapes, panettone, and of course the champagne.


No matter where you are from and how you celebrate New Year’s Eve. We wish you all a fantastic night and a happy 2016! 

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