For some nationalities, ham or pork is the luckiest thing to eat on January 1st. That leads one to wonder how a pig became associated with the idea of good luck. Hundreds of years ago in Europe, wild boars were caught in the forests and killed on the first day of the year. Also, a pig uses its snout to dig in the ground in a forward motion. Maybe people liked the idea of moving forward as the new year began, especially since pigs are also associated with plumpness and getting plenty to eat.
Austrians, Swedes, and Germans also choose pork or ham for their New Year's meal, and they brought this tradition with them when they settled in different regions of the United States. People in New England often combine their pork with sauerkraut to guarantee luck and prosperity for the coming year. Germans and Swedes tend to choose red cabbage as a lucky side dish, too. While folks in the Southern U.S. choose black-eyed peas.
In other countries, turkey is the meat of choice. Bolivians and some people in New Orleans follow this custom. But others claim that eating fowl (such as turkey, goose, or chicken) on New Year's Day will result in bad luck. Fowl scratch backward as they search for their food, and who wants to have to "scratch for a living"?
I wish you good things for 2021. It’s got to be better than this year, right?
Do you have a special New Year’s Day dinner? Share with us what it is.