new year

How do Latinos Prepare for New Year’s?

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Ringing in the New Year it is the perfect time to reflect upon the previous year and set goals for the upcoming year. Whether you are celebrating at home with your family and friends, or you find yourself in a foreign country, consider including some of these popular Latino traditions in your routine to make sure your 2021 is blessed with health, prosperity, and happiness.

Here are some fun and interesting traditions celebrated across Latin American countries to kick-start the new year:

  1. Eating of Twelve Grapes

Many Latin American countries like Ecuador and Mexico, when the clock strikes midnight, families gather and eat twelve grapes per person that represent the 12 months of the year. Those who managed to eat the twelve grapes on the last minute of the old year are guaranteed to have good luck in the next year.

  1. Colorful Underwear

Make sure you choose the color of your New Year’s underwear carefully! It is believed that the color of the underwear you use as the clock passes midnight will have an impact on the new year. Some believe that wearing Red underwear is predicted to bring the person love in the upcoming year, yellow is predicted to bring economic prosperity, and white is predicted to bring peace.

  1. Sweeping Out the Door

This popular Mexican tradition is believed to bring in good fortune for the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, it is common for people to sweep towards the outside of a home through a door or gate as a way of driving away all the negative vibes and experiences of the previous year. Some people place coins on the ground outside the door to sweep them in, as a way of attracting economic prosperity.

  1. Crack an Egg

Some people from El Salvador have the tradition of cracking an egg and putting it in a glass at midnight, the glass is left on the windowsill until the next morning. If the egg is still okay by next morning, that means good fortune for the upcoming year. But if the egg is rotten, then that is something that might be a concern.

  1. Grab your bag!

Many Ecuadorians believe that by filling out a suitcase full of clothes and running around the block with it at midnight on New Year’s Eve the coming year will be full of new adventures and lots of traveling!

  1. Smashing Plates

Delicious traditional meals are prepared on New Year’s, for instance, in Oaxaca the buñuelos are prepared with syrup and served on a ceramic plate. After eating the buñuelos, people smash the plate as a way to symbolically break bad habits.

  1. Putting Money Inside your Shoe

On New Year’s, many Ecuadorians make sure to put a money inside one of their shoes as it is believed this will attract wealth and prosperity, the bigger the bill the better!

Of course, some of these traditions are far-fetched, but after the 2020 we all experience, we are willing to try all of these everyday in January to ensure 2021 brings us health.  And more importantly, the ability to be close once again, to hug, to share a meal, to dance and relish in our humanity.

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