In Spain, people ring in the new year by quickly eating 12 grapes at midnight, one for each stroke of the clock. The goal is to eat them before the start of the new year. Some believe that the sweetness of each grape predicts how good or bad each month will be, for example, if the third grape is bitter, March might be a hard month. The tradition dates back to 1909, when there was a grape surplus throughout the country.
Many cultures ring in the new year with fish. The Japanese believe fish are a symbol of fertility (because of their ability to produce tons of eggs). Swedes also celebrate with an abundance of seafood, including pickled dishes.
Get the recipe for salmon with blueberry and mango salsa here
Black eyed peas (as well as lentils and other legumes) resemble coins, so people, often in the Southern United States, eat them for a prosperous New Year. Some believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year.
Get the recipe for Cucumber and Black-Eyed Pea Salad here
Many cultures put pork at the centre of their festivities because pigs push themselves forward while rooting for food, symbolising progress. The size (and richness) of a whole pig also represents abundance.
Get the recipe for lemon and herb crusted pork chops here