What Do People Around the World Eat at New Year?

December 29, 2017
Editor: Amanda Wu
What Do People Around the World Eat at New Year?

The year 2018 [Tuchong.com]


New Year's Day, or simply New Year, is the first day of the Gregorian calendar in most countries. People enjoy family reunions at home or call friends to gather in town centers for singing and dancing. Meanwhile, delicious New Year food adds more fun to one of the best-celebrated festivals.

China: Dumplings, New Year Cakes

In China, the day is called yuandan. Yuan (元) means "first" and dan (旦) means "day." In ancient times, yuandan referred to the traditional Chinese New Year, known as Spring Festival. Dumplings and New Year cakes (made of glutinous rice flour) have long been among the most delicious festive dishes.

Germany: Feuerzangenbowle

Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German alcoholic drink consumed at New Year. People place an iron gauze on bowls filled with liqueur and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peel; and, then set a rum-soaked sugarloaf on the iron gauze. As the bowl is heated, the sugarloaf drips into the wine. 

Malaysia: Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is a traditional Malay food for New Year. It is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. The meal can be found in most restaurants in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish.

Japan: Toso, Soba Noodles

Japanese people like to drink special spiced sake called toso and eat soba noodles, both signifying health and longevity. When the bell rings on New Year's Eve, for 108 strokes, every household begins eating soba. It is also said that long noodles can bring good luck for the following year, and biting soba symbolizes cutting off bad luck and debts.

Spain: 12 Grapes

In Spain, it is customary to have 12 grapes in your hand when the clock strikes 12 at midnight and eat one grape for each stroke. If all the grapes are eaten before the last strike, it will bring good luck.


(Source: tianqi.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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