The end of the December month is nearly in sight. The last two months of a year in Mexico are packed with holidays and celebrations, which go along with many traditions and rituals. It starts in November with the Día de los Muertos, and continues in December with the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Christmas, Day of the Holy Innocents and eventually New Year’s Eve. I might even missed out on some, if so – please let me know.
As with other Mexican holidays and celebrations, New Year’s Eve has a lot of traditions and rituals in order to bring prosperity, love, good luck and blessings for the new year. Today, families and friends gather on the last evening of the year to eat and celebrate. Being an anthropologist I have to say that there may be variations throughout the regions in Mexico, as it is an immense country with many different traditions. Nevertheless I managed to gather 7 Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions through research and by talking to people. Which one will you perform?
[ONE] Eating Twelve Grapes of Luck
‘Las Doce Uvas de la Suerte‘ are 12 grapes that you are supposed to eat during the last 12 seconds of the year. Each time the church bell rings, you are supposed to eat one grape. Some people believe that each grape represents a month in the next year. You may make a wish for each grape you successfully eat within a second.
[TWO] Throwing lentils
Often, people throw lentils in their houses or give them to family and loved ones. It’s supposed to bring abundance or fortune to those who practice this ritual. Last year, my man’s family did this at our place and in May I could still find a some lost lentils!
[THREE] Taking your suitcase for a walk
This is definitely the ritual that appeals most to me. Some families believe that, when you take your suitcase out for a walk just after midnight on New Year’s Eve, the next year will be filled with travels. It should be an empty
suitcase with which you encircle the block of your house. Isn’t that amazing? My empty suitcase is ready for a ride!
[FOUR] Sweeping your home
Some believe in bad vibes or negative energies. In order to eliminate all bad vibes of the past year, people sweep their homes toward the outside of the home. In this way, they can start the year with fresh, new energy and good vibes.
[FIVE] Ringing the bell
Another tradition that has to do with getting rid of bad vibes is ringing a bell at midnight. Supposedly, the sound scares off bad vibes or negative energies.
[SIX] Splashing water
It is believed that splashing water over material objects means a change of that object in the new year – for something better. Many splash water over their cars in the hope to receive a new and better one during the year that follows.
[SEVEN] Wearing colourful clothes
You will hardly ever see someone wear black clothes on New Year’s Eve. Most people wear colourful clothes which are supposed to bring love, good luck and prosperity into their lives in the new year.
And of course, there are the fireworks. As with any celebration in Mexico, fireworks are also part of New Year’s Eve.
And now I’m curious – which Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions will you perform this year?
I wish you all Feliz Año Nuevo and I hope that all your wishes may come true – Debbie
© 2016 by Debbie Vorachen – AHORITA YA. All Rights Reserved.
Photos © 2016 by Debbie Vorachen – AHORITA YA. All Rights Reserved.