12 Grapes at Midnight — Mexico and Spain from ‘Kimchi Cures All’ and 8 Other Worldwide Food Myths (Slideshow)
‘Kimchi Cures All’ and 8 Other Worldwide Food Myths (Slideshow)
12 Grapes at Midnight — Mexico and Spain
Each of 12 grapes eaten at the chime of midnight on New Year’s Eve represents a wish and brings good luck in the new year.
Chewing Gum at Night — Turkey
If you’re chewing gum at night in Turkey, you’re chewing the flesh of the dead.
Kimchi Cures All — Korea
Koreans say that if anything could disarm a nuclear bomb, it would be kimchi. They believe that kimchi can heal anything and that eating it every day will keep you well.
Raining Fish — Honduras
It’s said that fish literally fall from the sky on one night of the year (called “lluvia de peces,” meaning “rain of fish”) in Yoro, Honduras.
A Noodle for Your Life — China
In Chinese culture, long noodles symbolize a long life. If you cut noodles before serving them to someone, you’re cutting short the life of that person.
Miracle Yogurt — Iran
Yogurt in Iran is called “Persian milk” and is believed to be a miracle food. Iranians use it for everything from treating skin conditions to curing diseases.
Candles on Birthday Cake — Greece
The Greeks were the first to put candles on birthday cakes. They believed that bad spirits were drawn to celebrations and that saying “Happy Birthday” and burning candles on the cake would ward them off.
Upside-Down Loaf — France
Hunger and bad luck will come to anyone who handles a loaf of bread upside-down or places it on the table upside-down.
Beggar on Your Doorstep — Japan
When a beggar comes to your doorstep in Japan, you’re supposed to throw salt in the entry way where the beggar was, otherwise you’ll suffer bad luck and financial misfortune.