These are the quirkiest traditions people follow in Latin America to ensure the new year will bring love, fortune, and some travel too.
The new year always brings a fresh start. Whatever happened last year won’t matter the next. Latinos are especially aware of this and have their own deep-set rituals to make sure nothing will interfere with the new year’s possibilities. These are the most traditional and quirkiest things people in Latin America do to ensure the new year will bring love, fortune, or the travel bug.
12 grapes at the stroke of midnight
At least one member of the family should know the Heimlich Maneuver for this one. Several countries in Latin America as well as Spain, eat one grape for each stroke of the clock while thinking of a resolution. The twelve grapes and wishes represent the twelve months in the new year.
Size might not matter, but color does!
When it comes to your undies and what you want in the next year, color matters. Both men and women go shopping for red or yellow undies. If it’s love you want in the upcoming year, you should go red, but if you’re set on growing that piggy bank, go for yellow. Now, for abundance, wear them inside out before midnight and then fix them a few minutes later.
Make your wanderlust dreams come true
If you happen to be in some Latin American countries at midnight, you’re bound to run into people dragging luggage behind them. This old tradition is perfect for those who want to do some traveling in the new year. Sometimes, people run around their house or around the whole block with their luggage. I might be giving this one a try this year.
Jumping over seven waves
Brazilians are serious about their beach culture, so no New Year’s is complete without this fun ritual. Every New Year’s, those who live near the water crowd the beaches dressed in full white and go in the water just enough to get their feet wet. Then, they wait for a small wave to go over them.
Seven times, corresponding to seven wishes. This may be coupled with offerings of flowers or food to the African sea goddess Yemoja, also celebrated in Nigeria, where she originally comes from. So, head to the beach and don’t forget to make an offering to the ocean.
Up in smoke
In Panama and Ecuador, they really want to ward off any negative energy that might follow them into the upcoming year, so they make dolls or effigies of a person who brings bad energy or has had a negative impact on their lives. So, don’t be surprised to see “politicians” being burned on the streets.
A New Year’s cleanse
In countries like Puerto Rico and Cuba, beware while walking on the sidewalk at midnight because people throw buckets of water out their windows and doors: that way, all problems are washed away. It gives a whole new meaning to water under the bridge.
So, whatever it is that you want in the new year, some of these ideas are sure to give you an edge in achieving those New Year's’ resolutions. If you’ve tried everything else, you might want to try some of these.
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