With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, people all over the world are preparing traditional foods to bring good luck and fortune in 2023. On the list for many: Seafood, especially fish. If you’re looking for a fun New Year’s tradition to help clear out the rest of the fish in your freezer, this is a good one to try.


Why is Fish on New Year’s Eve Good Luck?

Many believe fish to be a lucky New Year’s Eve food because fish scales resemble coins. Fish also swim in schools, which for many can inspire feelings of abundance. Finally, fish travel forward, representing progress.

Fish also have cultural importance in certain parts of the world. For example, fish is an auspicious symbol in many Chinese cultures because it represents prosperity. While the Chinese New Year does not fall on the Gregorian New Year, many eat steamed carp and catfish on the holiday in hopes of achieving good fortune. In contrast, herring is considered to bring good fortune in many Scandinavian countries. Pickled and smoked herring are consumed for good luck in many parts of northern Europe.

Seafood’s cultural importance also extends to North America. For many indigenous communities, especially in the American Pacific Northwest, salmon symbolizes prosperity, renewal, and abundance.

If you’re not sure which seafood is the best to eat on this holiday, consider what has historically been available in your area. Odds are that the fish geographically closest to you will have the most cultural significance – and the lowest carbon footprint.


New Year’s Eve Seafood Recipes

Holiday seafood recipes can be as simple or complex as needed. For those seeking Scandinavian inspiration, purchasing pre-smoked or pickled fish is an easy way to participate in the tradition. Eating smoked fish at the stroke of midnight is said to bring good luck. Try eating smoked herring, salmon, or trout with crackers, bread, or chips.

For a German-inspired tradition, try Bier Fisch, a fried carp dish perfect for a late-night meal or festive party. Keep a fish scale from your holiday feast in your wallet all year to ensure wealth in 2023.

In certain parts of east Asia, holiday seafood preparation is relatively simple. Good luck is associated with cooking and serving the fish whole, leaving both the head and tail intact. Steamed carp or sea bass is typically made with shiitake mushrooms, cilantro, and scallions.

For a distinctly North American tradition, eating locally harvested salmon is said to bring good luck. Enjoy it raw, like in sushi, smoked, baked, or sautéed.


Where to Buy Your New Year’s Feast

For many people, a New Year’s Eve seafood feast is just an opportunity to clear out the fish ordered for early-winter celebrations, like Christmas and Hanukkah. For others, it’s an opportunity to try something new. If you’re on the hunt for seafood this holiday season, we recommend making your purchase online. This is the best way to ensure you buy from a reputable, sustainable provider. Plus, you’ll have the ability to compare costs. If you’re considering this New Year’s tradition, here are some great places to start:

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