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Latino Traditions for New Year's Eve

We’ve been in Texas since Friday spending time with some really good Mexican friends we consider family. We’re preparing everything for our New Year’s Eve celebration tonight and as I was checking to make sure we had enough grapes for everyone to eat 12 at the stroke of midnight, I started thinking of all the other traditions/superstitions Latinos have related to Año Nuevo.

12 uvas de la suerte

This tradition is originally from Spain, but has been adopted by many Latin American countries including Mexico. Tradition dictates that when the clock strikes midnight, you have to eat 12 grapes and make a wish with each stroke of the clock.

The 12 grapes represent the 12 months of the year and the idea is that by eating a dozen grapes, you’re ensuring the 12 months ahead will be good and prosperous ones.

¡A viajar!

If you want to travel, this is one I remember my mother doing every single year. All you have to do is go for a walk around your neighborhood with your suitcase before the clock strikes midnight. Some recommend you go around the block, but the other option is to cross the street in front of your house with your suitcase. I like this last option better now that I live in Colorado and it’s usually freezing cold on New Year’s Eve.

Green is for dinero

Many Latinos believe strongly that the color underwear they wear on December 31 will dictate the kind of luck they’ll have in the New Year. If you’re looking to attract love you need to wear red underwear.

For good luck or to attract money you better be wearing yellow. Although in some countries green is more closely associated with financial well-being and yellow with positive energy. I figure it doesn’t hurt, so why not?

Sweeping away todo lo malo

Nothing worse than starting the new year surrounded by negative energy. Hence, many people believe in sweeping the entrance to their home to get rid of it. Others put dollar bills near their front door and sweep them inwards to assure prosperity and financial good luck.

Others don’t sweep, but they fill a bucket or glass of water, open their front door and throw it out. The idea is the same: get rid of any bad energy and start the year as clean as possible.

I’ve never done this one, but maybe I should — especially the one with the dollar bills!

What New Year’s Eve traditions do you have?

{Photo by GoodNCrazy}

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