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?

About Joan Concilio

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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