Around the world, people are ringing in 2010. For many, the beginning of a new year comes with very old traditions. In most countries, these revolve around eating specific foods thought to bring luck in the new year.
What do goat heads, apple-stuffed donuts and pepper soup have in common? According to various countries' customs, each will bring 365 days of good luck if eaten on New Year's.
In some places, eating pork or other pig products is said to bring prosperity. In many others, consuming fish signifies abundance and progress. Green, leafy vegetables are a popular food worldwide for New Year's, as the color and texture are thought to symbolize money and bring financial success. Croatians, for instance, typically feast on stuffed cabbage, while Germans stick with sauerkraut and Americans go for kale and collards.
But for those who want all the luck in the world, Washington D.C.'s Naga Restaurant has put it on the menu. Head chef and co-owner Glenn Babcock has created a seven-course meal featuring foods from around the globe, each rumored to bring one of seven lucky aspects.
"When we examined the idea of luck, we dissected it into seven major parts - one being longevity, another being protection, another wisdom, prosperity, love, success and happiness," said Glenn Babcock.
Expanding this traditional view of the word meant combining ingredients for each course from a variety of cultural and religious traditions.
Babcock says he hopes the meal will expand patrons' ideas of both what luck means and how it can taste.
So, whether you're eating grapes at midnight or drinking palm wine in hopes of a sweet 2010, here's to your luck in finding it.