See also: Today in Food History: December 31

and Today in Food History January 1

New Year's Day was celebrated for the first time on January 1 when the Julian calendar took effect in 45 B.C.

Scottish poet Robert Burns poem 'Auld Lang Syne,' set to the tune of a traditional folk song, is traditionally sung at midnight to celebrate the start of the New Year.

Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played 'Auld Lang Syne' as their New Years Eve song for the first time in 1928.

Hoppin’ John is traditionally served on New Year's Day in the Southern U.S., and is supposed to bring good luck during the coming year.
Hoppin’ Jonn Recipes - scroll down alphabetical order

The New York Times introduced the New Years Eve Ball on their building at Times Square in New York.  Descending to mark the end of the old and the beginning of the New Year ever since. The iron and wood ball was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds.  Today, a large crystal ball descends to mark the end of the old and the beginning of the New Year.

Various locations around the U.S. drop other objects, including giant Tangerines, Conch Shells, Peaches, Apples, Opossums, Sardines, Pickles, Acorns, Beavers, Cows, Pretzels, Frogs, Cigars, Bologna, Boats, Shoes, Goats, and various colored balls.

German tradition is to eat herring at the stroke of midnight to bring good luck for the New Year.
Pickled Herring Recipe

In Austria, suckling pig is the traditional dinner for New Year’s Day and is said to symbolize good luck. Often the New Year’s table also is decorated with miniature pigs made of marzipan, maple sugar or chocolate.

Most food folklore suggests that New Year’s celebrations should include pork and sauerkraut to ensure good luck in the coming year.

The Dutch eat chicken stuffed with sauerkraut at Christmas to mark the end the year and celebrate the beginning of the New Year. The reason for chicken?  Because the animal scratches the ground, it symbolizes scratching the earth over the old year Logo

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