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Photo: TripSavvy

New Year’s Day is a holiday that’s important to a lot of people around the world. One of the beautiful things about New Year’s Day is food and everyone has their ideal New Years' meals and traditions. Some traditions are more familiar to certain cultures than others, but the values are similar in that it is all about promoting the best parts of yourself and starting anew. Some foods are just plain unlucky to eat on New Year’s Eve.

What associates these dishes with bad fortune, exactly?

Let KnowInsider introduce you to the unlucky foods to avoid during New Year and beyond!


Chicken is a great year-round choice, but you'll have to give it up for one night. These birds scratch backwards, which can imply dwelling in the past or — even worse — the need to scrape by for your living, Delish cites.

White Foods

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Photo: Divabetic

In Chinese tradition, white is an unlucky color because it symbolizes death, so all white foods are out for the celebration. Tofu, eggs, white cheeses — say goodbye to them for the night. We're not sure where brown eggs stand since they have white insides, but perhaps it's better to be safe and cook up something else.


New Year's might seem like the time to indulge, but lobster shouldn't be the star of your menu. Their backwards swimming portends possible setbacks in the coming year.


We don't know why you would, but if you're ever tempted to gift someone fresh herbs, leave the parsley at home. Bring it to a party and not only will you get weird looks, bad luck will follow.


As it turns out, bananas are just riddled with bad luck. Not only does cutting them bring bad luck — sorry, anyone who eats peanut butter and banana sandwiches — bringing them on board a boat can mean a poor fishing haul or even getting lost at sea for the crew.

Hollow Bread

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Photo: Reddit

People used to believe that if you found a hole in a sliced loaf, it symbolized a coffin and portended someone's imminent death. We're glad this one has passed; nothing brings a holiday dinner to a halt like a bad omen.

Some food superstitions you should know

1. Don't Scrape Your Plate Clean

Although this superstition doesn’t have a direction connect to a specific food, it is still an important superstition to be aware of when you are dining during New Year’s Eve and Day. It is vital that when you’re eating your food during new year’s, that you leave a little bit on your plate because if you don’t then your coming year will not be a plentiful one. How much should you leave on your plate? It’s unknown and may be different for eat person, but it may be a safe bet to leave just a bite or two on the plate for safe thinking, according to There Recipe.

2. Spilled Salt Invites The Devil

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Photo: Food Tribe

At its core salt is what enhances all food that we eat so you can’t avoid this ingredient even if you tried (well you can but seriously, salt your food). The superstition around salt is that bring you bad luck because it can bring a fight and end a friendship with someone, it can bring bad luck to whoever spilled salt and one of the more extreme problems is that it can “invite the devil to perform evil deeds,” according to How Stuff Works. Whether you spill salt accidentally or not, if you want to make sure that you don’t have any bad luck in the new year just be careful or do what many people do and take a little of the spilled salt and throw it over your left shoulder for good measure.

3. Keep Bananas Un-Cut

What’s so bad about bananas when they’ve never done anything to hurt you? Well on New Year’s Day, it is so important to make sure you avoid this fruit because you aren’t supposed to cut them. This superstition is a thing year long, but it might ramp up fears even more around the new year. People believe that cutting them will bring bad luck and if by chance you happen to fish, bringing them on a boat can signal a lousy haul or getting lost at sea. Just avoid bananas altogether on new year’s just to make sure all good things come your way.

4. Using Chopsticks Could Be Your Funeral

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Photo: Deep Japan

Chopsticks are symbolic for many countries in Asia. This is also not a superstition that’s directly related to a food but this one is important too because it’s all about respect. In China and Japan depending on the positioning of the chopsticks you will have bad luck. Placing your chopsticks upright in a bowl is bad because it “mimics incense used to honor the dead” in Japan, doing this is called tsukitate-bashi and it reminds people of funerals and in China using chopsticks of different lengths symbolizes misfortune. It's unlikely to come across chopsticks of varying lengths but its good for you to know.

Moving Forward Like A Fish

Fish is an easy food to see the connection to a new year. In some countries, fish symbolize moving forward since the fish swim forward and not backward. Others believe that because fish swim together in schools, that they are also symbolizing abundance. Then there are people who believe that “scales resemble coins” bring money and wealth into your life, according to Bon Appetit. Places like Germany, Poland and Scandinavia will eat pickled herring to ensure “a year of bounty” and in certain Chinese cuisine, fish is a good luck food because of its sound in Chinese that is similar to the word abundance, according to Woman's Day. They will eat the fish from head to tail (with the tail intact) to solidify a good year.

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