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Traditional Lucky Wedding Food

Discover the secret ingredients to marital bliss as we explore traditional lucky wedding foods—where culture and cuisine unite to celebrate love!

Weddings are such momentous occasions filled with joy, togetherness, and, of course, love. Better yet, it is the start of a new chapter in life. No matter the culture, food is often a significant part of the celebration and, in some cases, the ceremony. Food is deeply engrained into traditions from across the globe to bring luck and prosperity to the new union. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of lucky wedding food ideas and discover the symbolism behind them and how they taste.

Traditional Lucky Wedding Foods

Nuts, Fruits and Sweets

Nuts are considered traditional lucky wedding foods in many cultures and play a significant role in wedding traditions worldwide, symbolizing everything from the strength of the marital bond to fertility. Examples include:

  • Kola Nut: The kola nut is considered a sign of blessing and prosperity and is an essential part of Nigerian wedding ceremonies. They have the kola nut ceremony in which the newly married couple and their families share a kola nut as a symbol of love and trust, the basis for a happy marriage. The flavor of kola nuts is quite bitter, so sweets usually follow it since the bitterness enhances the sweetness.
  • Jordan Almonds: Also referred to as confetti, koufeta, and mlabbas, the sugar-coated almond candies are often served as wedding favors in Italy, Greece, and the Middle East. They are placed in tulle bundles, small bags, or silver trays in odd numbers, usually five. The significance of quantity is that an odd number is indivisible by two, much like a lasting couple. The flavor is also significant. Like a marriage, the confections are bitter-sweet (the fresh almond is bitter while the exterior is sweet).
  • Chestnuts: In Korea, chestnuts, as well as jujubes, are traditional lucky wedding foods thrown over a screen at the bride, who is supposed to catch as many as possible in the skirt of her dress. The number caught is supposed to represent the number of children the couple will have.
  • Honey: Serving honey or just a spoonful of honey symbolizes sweetness and a sweet marriage but can also symbolize a sweet start to a marriage.
  • Grapes, Oranges, Lemons & Apples: Grapes represent fertility, prosperity, and good fortune, while oranges symbolize happiness and good fortune, lemons symbolize purification and cleansing, and apples represent love and abundance.

Baked Goods

In matrimonial celebrations, these sweet and savory baked goods take center stage, each with a touch of symbolism and luck.

  • Pitka Bread: Pitka bread is a buttery, pull-apart bread served in Bulgaria. It is flakey on the exterior with a light, fluffy interior. Traditionally, pitka bread is prepared by the bride’s mother the night before the wedding. Then, at the event, guests break off pieces and dip in honey before taking a bite, symbolizing a sweet start to the marriage.
  • Bem Casados: Often mistaken for cookies, these Brazilian sweets are made of dulce de leche sandwiched between two small sponge cake rounds. They are served to wedding guests as a dessert or party favor and come with a fun twist. Before eating, guests are supposed to make a wish for the couple. It is believed that after the cake is eaten, the wish comes true for both the couple and themselves. How fun!
  • Kransekage/Kransekake: Kransekage (in Denmark) or kransekake (in Norway) is a cake (of sorts) constructed from ring-shaped layers of almond pastry and royal icing, which holds it all together. The number of layers varies, although many are built as high as eighteen. The dessert is chewy, nutty, and subtly sweet. Its luck factor has to do with children. Traditionally, the newlyweds lift the top layer of cake off before it is served, and the number of rings that stick to the bottom is supposed to indicate the number of children the couple will have.


Cultural traditions and symbolism intertwine with every flavorful strand of these noodle-based traditional lucky wedding foods:

  • Yi Mein: Unique and slightly spongy, yi mein noodles symbolize longevity and good luck. The traditional lucky wedding food is a fixture at any Chinese banquet. They’re often served close to the end of the meal. Some are tossed in a soy sauce base with mushrooms and chives, while others prefer a lighter sauce and shrimp. Either way, do not cut the noodles. Doing so symbolizes cutting luck (or life) short!
  • Hochzeitsuppe: This is a complex and very delicious German soup only served on special occasions due to the time and effort it takes to prepare. Its name literally means “wedding” soup and consists of noodles, chicken, asparagus, meatballs, and much more. Hochzeitsuppe is a traditional first course, and the rule is that no one is allowed to eat until everyone has a bowl.

Meat and Seafood

Regarding wedding traditions, meat or seafood often takes center stage. Continue below to learn which ones hold the most significance.

  • Peking duck: Aside from being succulent with an almost buttery quality and incredibly crispy skin to boot, the Chinese consider peking duck a lucky food due to its red color, as red is a sign of luck in Chinese culture. Furthermore, ducks, specifically mandarin ducks, are regarded as symbols of affection.
  • Roasted pork: Specifically, a whole roasted pig stuffed with lemongrass, green chilis, and more, lechon, as it’s called in the Philippines, is full-flavored and aromatic. The skin is crisp, the meat incredibly tender, and the meaning behind the dish is beautiful. In addition to prosperity, lechon symbolizes abundance for the newlywed couple.
  • Herring Roe: In Japan, the rare, expensive salted roe called Kazunuko is marinated in soy sauce and dashi after desalination. It is a collection of tiny fish eggs that look similar to slices of fish with a golden color and salty, umami flavor. Herring roe delivers a satisfying crunch when you bite into it before the eggs break apart and melt in your mouth like caviar. Herring roe is a traditional wedding food in the Japanese culture thought to bring prosperity and fertility.
  • Fish: Serving fish at a wedding in many cultures signifies fertility and abundance.

From symbolic nuts representing strength and fertility to delightful baked goods offering sweet beginnings, each traditional lucky wedding food is served with the intention of bringing positivity to a new union. Food has and always will be deeply ingrained in culture and celebration, acting as a flavorful bridge between past, present, and future generations.

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Monique McArthur
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