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10. Crazy Latin American New Year's Traditions

Culture & Community By Hip Latina392 views
10. Crazy Latin American New Year's Traditions

If you are looking to keep some of the old traditions of our culture and ancestors, here are some wacky, crazy and unbelievable things done in Latin America for New Years. Thinking about it though, here in the U.S. we can be crazy too, I mean thousands of people wait in the cold weather in NYC Time Square in front of the screen waiting for a giant bedazzled ball to drop. So with that being said, lets us jump into the countdown...


1. Burn Baby Burn- In Panama and Ecuador they have this tradition where life-size Muñecos  of those who made a negative impact in your life in the past year is burned. These people can be your idiot ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend who left you after the relationship went sour. To really get a fresh start of the New Year these dolls are then burned at the stroke of midnight to destroy all the negative energy brought on by that person. I might have an extensive list for my 2018 list but I will leave that for me to know and you to wonder. 

photo credit: An Cash Al Dia

2. Stash The Cash- As most of us have heard of some sort of tradition where money is involved, Silver, coins and paper money play a significant role in many traditions for New Years. In Ecuador, money is hidden during the prior year and sometimes forgotten about until its time to uncover it for New Year. Also, just in general if you hold silver in your hand as the clock strikes midnight it is said to help your New Year be much more prosperous and filled with an abundance of wealth.

phot credit: Flexi

3. The Infamous Suitcase- Legend has it that if you walk around the block a few times on New Year's Eve, this might just help break in that suitcase and actually get you some nice travel time for the New Year to come.  

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

4. The 12 Grapes of Luck - So the grapes all start back in the 19th Century and actually originated from Spain, eat 12 Grapes on New Year's to help bring in the good fortune for each month of the New Year. While there is no certainty or a definite answer to where this tradition came from exactly, some people believe this dates back to the 1880s and the madrileños. These would poke fun at the French aristocracy and drink sparkling wine and plates full of grapes. Others think it was just a creative way to sell the excess grapes that were cultivated during an over-abundant harvest in 1909. I am not 100% sure but what I do know is that every time I have tried this particular tradition, nothing seems to happen, so maybe its just a myth.

5. The Right Shade Of Underwear - Having an on-point New Years outfit is pretty sick, but for many in Latin America, so is having the right color of chones. This brings a whole new meaning to choosing that pair of underwear in case you get lucky while gallivanting the night of New Year's Eve.

Yellow- Good Luck

Red- Passion

Choose wisely...or see if you can maybe find a pair with both colors in it. Though Brazil has a bit of a twist on the underwear tradition-Brasileiros tend to wear an entire outfit of a certain color depending on how they hope to welcome the New Year. While wearing white for purity and peace is most common. green might be worn to bring in hope and faith, orange for energy and creativity, or blue for tranquillity.

Photo Credit: ABC NEWS

6. Bringing the Dead to Life - Chile is serious about kicking off New Year's with a big bang-celebrations are often held at graveyards so that the dead won't miss out on the festivities.

Phot Credit by: Quizz Club

7. Lucky Lentils or Lentejas- Lentils have come to signify prosperity and wealth worldwide. htey are seen at New Year's dinners across the world. Some countries even wrapt lentils inside of their money to bring the luck a bit closer to home.

Photo Credit By: Pinterest Cuenta Regresiva

8. Stuffed Lamb- While also a savoury dish this time of year, there's a different kind of stuffed lamb popular during the New Year season in Latin America. Toy lambs adorn the entryways of homes in Latin America and are said to symbolize purity, prosperity and wealth. In Mexico, the lambs wool-lana in Spanish actually shares the same name as a colloquial term for money.

Photo Credit: Amazon

9. Winter Cleaning- There's no need to wait until spring, some households will do a through sweep of the house to remove any remaining impurities from the prior year. Those wishing to make more of a statement, or a literal splash, may throw a bucket of water out the window to cast off any negative energy from the year before.

Photo Credit Pinterest Cuban Influence

10. Ring In The New Year with a Cheers!- No New Year's celebration is complete without a toast. So to (Literally) ring in the New Year complete with bling, many will add a gold ring to the glass of bubbles they plan to toast with. Go figure, I don't know but still looks very expensive to me so I shall add me some gold this year.


Photo Credit Corbis Images

Nonetheless whichever tradition you follow or whichever way you bring on the New Year's make it a memorable one and a fun one too! Happy New Year to you all and Salud!