Each and every nation has their traditional menu on New Year’s Eve and Day; some of them are actually the same or are very much alike, but some food associations could not be more different. So, what do Hungarians put on the table on a New Year’s Eve party and what do they eat on January 1st?


It is believed that pigs dig forwards with their snouts, thus unearthing luck, but Hungarian traditions advise you to consume it roasted or as a frankfurter rather than as a schnitzel. Elders might suggest making aspic from pork trotters, ears, tails or snouts, which is eaten both for dinner on the last day of the year and for breakfast or lunch on the first day of the new year.



Photo: mindmegette.hu/

Lentils resemble coins, so it is good luck to eat lentil soup or lentil stew on January 1st so that your wallet will never get empty in the new year. You can cook it with frankfurters, combining it with another magical food.

You can find our suggestion on how to make the best lentil meals here.


Korhelyleves is a meaty sauerkraut soup that is said to cure hangovers, so it is especially beneficial to eat it after the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Its main ingredients are sausages and sauerkraut, but sometimes a rich amount of bacon is added to it, which makes one wonder how well the combination of sausages and bacon will sit on a hungover stomach, but you know what they say… hair of the dog.


savoury treats, pogácsa

Pogácsa, or patty, is eaten specifically on the last day of the year, otherwise, if there is any left for the new year, everything that you have accomplished in the old one will be undone. Pogácsa is the symbol of good luck and safety in Hungarian folklore, so it is no wonder it has become essential to welcoming the new year.

Learn more about the traditions of pogácsa and about a classic recipe here.



According to Hungarian superstition, eating strudels on the first day of the year means wealth and long life, so it should be flatted out as long as possible. Since preparing it is a challenging and time-consuming task, it pays off in riches and success.

Here are the secrets to a tasty Hungarian strudel.


Even though in many parts of the world fish scales have the same meaning as lentils in the sense that they resemble coins, Hungarians attach a different meaning to fish: it is believed that money will swim away with the fish.

Poultry is another no-go on New Year’s Day as, with their backward scratching, they bury good luck.

Turkeys are strictly banned from the table since they not only drive away good luck but they will bring a lot of anger and quarrels to the house. There is even a Hungarian saying, “mérges pulyka”, translating to “angry turkey”, which refers to the fact that turkeys are bad-tempered and hot-headed.

Featured image: www.nosalty.hu

Source: Daily News Hungary

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