Why Eating Chicken On New Year's Is Considered Bad Luck

It's almost time for 2021 to be on its way out, leading the resolution-makers among us to start setting intentions for the new year, and the superstitious among us to plan what to eat on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day that might help set the tone for 2022. Did you know that there are a variety of foods traditionally served around the world for New Year's that are considered lucky, dishes that are supposed to shepherd in good fortune as well as good flavor? 

One such dish, traditionally eaten on the first day of the new year, is black-eyed peas, which some historians say were prepared by newly emancipated slaves in order to celebrate their freedom in 1863 (via Real Simple). Another lucky New Year's dish is cooked greens of any kind, which are supposed to usher in financial prosperity (also per Real Simple).

But, just as there are certain fortune-courting foods, there are a handful of dishes that are considered bad luck and are best to be avoided on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. One of these foods is chicken — here's why.

Chicken may make your luck fly away

If you're busy planning your New Year's Eve dinner menu or thinking about hosting a New Year's Day brunch, you might want to avoid serving any type of chicken — especially if you're a superstitious type. According to Country Living, eating chicken around a new year can attract bad luck — it's said that, since chickens have wings, your good fortune could literally fly away. An article in St. Louis Magazine concurs that chicken is best avoided on the 31st — but for a different reason. Rather, that article states, since chickens (and turkeys) scratch in the dirt for their food source, it's best to avoid eating the fowl on New Year's Eve lest anyone dining on them also find themselves lacking for food (aka "scratching the dirt") in the following year.

Want to increase your odds for good luck in 2022? You could pile your New Year's plate with legumes, greens, cabbage, and pork, all of which are considered luck-attracting foods. Happy (and lucky) New Year!