Some lucky foods to eat for the new year include greens, which are eaten because they resemble money; beans, which resemble coins; noodles, which symbolize long life and grains that signify abundance, such as barley or rice, according to Reader's Digest. Spanish revelers eat one grape for each stroke of midnight, symbolizing each calendar month; if a grape is sour, it is seen as a foreboding of bad luck for the particular month it symbolizes.
A ring-shaped cake is served in some areas, often with trinkets baked inside, as a symbol of coming full circle, reports Reader's Digest. Fish is often considered a lucky new year's food because its scales resemble coins.
Black-eyed peas are a traditional Southern food for the new year that are said to invite good fortune into the life of the person eating them, as stated by Martha Stewart. Italians eat lentils on New Year's to invite wealth into their lives. In Japan, soba, which are buckwheat noodles, are eaten at midnight at the beginning of the new year to enhance longevity. Ham is a traditional meat for new year's dinner, since its fat is thought to bring happiness in the coming year. Cornbread is served alongside the ham to represent gold and its glories.