Pork & Sauerkraut on New Year’s Day

My mother-in-law tells me that eating pork & sauerkraut on New Year’s Day is a symbol of good luck for the new year.

I wasn’t familiar with that tradition, but hey, at this point, I’m willing to do about anything to get some good luck in ’21. Plus, who am I to argue with my mother-in-law and “the most interesting man in the world”, right?


I did a little research when my mother-in-law brought up this intriguing tradition. I found that pigs, in general, have long been considered lucky. A fat, rich pig is what you want in a meal that promotes prosperity. Makes sense, right?

Also, pigs root forward with their snouts, which represents forward momentum in the new year. Okay, sounds good to me. I’ll take some foward momentum away from 2020.

Here’s something else I learned— eating lobster or crab is considered bad on New Year’s Day, because they walk backwards/sideways, thereby setting you up for a year of setbacks. 😳

So for those of you with lobster/crab dinners planned for today…. don’t do it! I mean, after 2020, do we really need anymore setbacks?


Sauerkraut also has some superstitious properties associated with it.

The Germans wished each other as many riches as there are shreds of cabbage in the sauerkraut they eat.

In Dutch folklore it’s said that long strands of sauerkraut represent a long life ahead of you, and the green color of sauerkraut symbolizes money. The more kraut you eat, the richer you’ll be in the new year.

Not taking any chances

Okay, so after all this new learning, I’ve decided it’s best not to take any chances. There will definitely be some pork and sauerkraut on our menu today.

If you’re on board with this idea, but a big ol’ plate of pig and cabbage isn’t sounding too appealing, I’ve got you covered! I’m linking up two of my favorite recipes that include pork & kraut!

Both of these recipes can be made with corned beef or pastrami, or pork loin or pork shoulder!

Reuben Sandwiches on Rye Bread

Hot Reuben Dip with Rye Triscuits

Both of these recipes are simple to make, and if the traditions are to be believed, you’ll set yourself up for better luck in the new year. 🤪

I’m generally not a superstitious person, but at this point, it’s worth a shot, right?

Here’s to a better year ahead. Happy New Year!

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7 thoughts on “Pork & Sauerkraut on New Year’s Day

  1. Niky, this was fun to learn how the tradition of pork and sauerkraut came to be for New Year’s Day! These recipes all look so great, too. I am all about a delicious reuben, however, I prefer to hold the kraut! It’s just not my thing and never will be no matter how much luck it may bring by eating it! I’ll stick with just the pork. Haha. Thanks for sharing and linking up!


  2. Hi Niky, do you know how crabs walk when they are drunk? Straight! Okay, that is bad, but I am a beach girl after all and should probably stick to my day job instead of making up jokes. Happy New Year, Michele (The Beach Girl Chronicles)

  3. Hi Niky,
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    I am originally from Pennsylvania, with a German heritage, and pork and sauerkraut is definitely a New Year’s Day meal for us. We put pork and sauerkraut in the crockpot and serve it with mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, and apple sauce. I don’t know about good luck, but it always tastes wonderful.
    I love your blog, Niky. I appreciate all the creativity and hard work you put into it.

    1. Ann, my mother-in-law lived in PA for many years, and I am sure that is where she picked up this tradition. 🙂 Your idea of pork and kraut in the crockpot with mashed potatoes sounds yummy and simple. Maybe we will try it next year!

      Thanks so much for your sweet comments!
      Happy New Year!

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