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The Pennsylvania Dutch tradition: Pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s

Our Pennsylvania Dutch tradition says pork and sauerkraut is the meal with which to ring in a new year, in order to bring good luck.

But did you know these New Year’s customs?

– Eating noodles at midnight is customary at Buddhist temples in Japan.

– In Spain, it is tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Each grape signifies one month of the upcoming year. A sweet grape means the month will be good. A sour grape means the month will be bad.

– German folklore says that eating a herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.

– Hungarian culture says that eating chicken on New Year’s Day means you will be scratching for money the way a chicken scratches for food.

– In the South, black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck for the new year.

Commenter Joe has an interesting take on our tradition. He writes, “Looking ahead to New Years – despite being a life long York Countian, and part German I do not do the pork and sauerkraut… I may do pork but definitely not sauerkraut! Does this mean my York Countian card gets revoked?”

I’m in agreement, but what do you think? Pork and kraut a must-have? Or a must-avoid? If you do eat it, what’s your recipe or your favorite place to go out and get it?

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