Not just lentils. To end 2015 well and start 2016 well, there is a myriad of good foods. Symbols, as well as real superstitious rituals, because every dish has a meaning and a message, and those of New Year's Eve more than in any other occasion. No banality, therefore, but manifestations of a "sacred science" now lost, yet that our ancestors knew well, and that even today we find impressed in our monuments and – without knowing it – even in our behaviors and ways of doing. So let's see the ten lucky dishes or good wishes for a fantastic 2016.
1 – Lentils
The story is now well-known. Since the time of the Romans, they were considered one good wish for their resemblance to coins. Similarity, to be honest, very little can be found in some very prized Italian lentils, starting with those of Castelluccio, not to mention the microscopic ones of Ustica. But try them green giants of Altamura, and then you will see the resemblance! In addition to the dish, the good wishes can also be expressed as gift bags, to hang under the tree or to be used for friendly placeholders.
2 – The pig
Have you ever wondered why the piggy bank generally has the shape of a piglet? Because the pig, symbol of the peasant civilization in which "nothing is thrown away", has always been a symbol of abundance and of material progress. Easy to breed and cheap meat, for farmers it was a real delicacy. Although its meaning became ambivalent: in the Christian Middle Ages (probably due to Jewish influences) it was in fact considered a diabolical animal for its lust and shamelessness. Diabolic in the spirit, but blessed in the matter. Viva the zampone and the cotechino, therefore.
3 – Rice
It will be for the name that evokes joy and laughter, but rice has always been considered a good luck charm. Used, not by chance, as a good omen also during i weddings. The risotto good luck with excellence? The one with the pomegranate.
4 – Chard and cabbage
Lucky and seasonal. In the countries linked to dollar the green of chard, like that of cabbage, recalls that of the bills. But green is also the color of the hope and respect forenvironment: greener for everyone, then. And sprinkle everything with parsley!
5 – Legumes
In Abruzzo it is tradition that the last of the year is celebrated with 13 courses and 7 different soups: not just based on lentils (money), rice is cabbage, but also chickpeas, beans (health), Fava beans is rice cooked in water of almonds. Plus, one "fake" soup of macaroni with sardines lengthened with tomato sauce.
6 – The chili
Since their arrival in Europe from the Americas, it is the lucky charm par excellence. And the origins of this belief are more "hot" than ever: for the Romans, as for most peoples both Indo-European and not, the phallic symbolism it was used as a fertility wish, both family and economic linked to agriculture. Hence the red cornet used as a lucky charm, often built in precious red coral. When, in the 16th century, insouthern Italy the chili pepper, luck became cheap. Hanging in homes and shops, it was used to defend against the evil eye; under the pillow of the beloved, to avert the conjugal infidelity. Chili pepper necklaces were then given to the married from parents. You will have understood, now, from what the fashion of red underwear derives …
7- The dried fruit
It is a good luck charm especially in France, where you must eat as many as 13 types of dried fruit. We are satisfied with 7 (still these two numbers!): walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, raisins, almonds, figs and dates. The reason? For the Romans dried fruit was a well-wishing symbol, especially during i weddings (the famous wedding with dried figs …). Dried fruit with a hard shell and soft inside like almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts later became Christian symbols of inwardness and of mysticism, the opposite of the pig.
8 – The grapes
The tradition of eating a grape for every toll of the clock at the stroke of midnight is of origin Spanish. The clock is in fact that of the Real casa de zorreos a Puerta del Sol, one of the most famous squares of Madrid. Apart from Spain, grapes are traditionally considered to be one symbol of abundance and joy.
9 – The pomegranate
For the Greek and Roman mythology, the pomegranate was the plant sacred to Juno and to Venus, and therefore a symbol of fertility and wealth for their tasty red grains. Perfect in the risotto.
10 – Mandarin
For the Chinese Feng Shui, mandarin is one of the lucky charm par excellence, thanks to its almost perfectly spherical shape call infinity. For the Chinese New Year, it is not by chance that they are given mandarins. A positive symbolism, that of mandarin and citrus, also present in tradition western.