7 Mexican Traditions for Celebrating the New Year

“Feliz Año Nuevo!" which in English means, "Happy New Year!" 2017 is almost over, and we are all looking forward to a prosperous and happy 2018. Here in the United States many of you will celebrate New Year's Eve with champagne toasts, feasts, parties, and watching the ball drop on TV in Times Square. Mexicali Blues took a look at how people celebrate the coming of a new year in Mexico, and here are some of the traditions we discovered. 

Eat a Dozen Grapes
A popular Hispanic New Year's Eve tradition is to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight and make a wish on each grape. There are 12 grapes to represent the 12 months of the year. We saw a couple of variations on this one. Some say you must eat all of the grapes in the 60 seconds before midnight strikes to get your wishes to come true. Others say you must eat a grape every time the clock strikes at midnight. (You'd have to be pretty fast to do it that way!) It is said that sweet grapes mean the month you are eating the grape for will be a good one, but sour grapes warn you to expect a bad month. 

Get Your Lentils
There are a few different ways to incorporate lentils into your New Year's Eve plans to receive an abundance of good fortune for the coming year. You can eat cooked lentils near midnight, either on their own or in a soup, or you can simply place a handful of raw lentils in your pockets or purse. They can be given to friends and family to wish them good fortune. You can even put lentils outside your door on December 31 to reap the benefits.  

Plan Your Underwear
Many people put a lot of thought into the outfit they will wear on New Year's Eve, but in Mexico, they are more concerned about what they are wearing underneath! The color of the underwear you put on represents the type of good luck you have coming in the new year. You can also burn colored candles instead of relying on the color of your underwear.

  • Red = Love
  • Yellow = Happiness and money
  • Green = Health and well-being
  • Pink = Friendship
  • White = Hope and peace
  • Orange = Wisdom

A Shiny Midnight Toast 
People in Mexico also share a toast of something sparkling at midnight just like we do. To add a bit of luck to their toast, they drop a gold ring into the glass before they drink it. This is supposed to help bring good fortune your way in the coming year. (Just don't swallow the ring! That would be a horrible way to start a year.) 

Write It All Down
Resolutions are made for the coming year in Mexico much like in the United States. They also write down a list of everything bad that is going on in their life or that happened in the past year and burn that list. This is supposed to purify negative thoughts and keep those bad vibes from coming back in the new year. 

Fireworks lighting up the sky is another New Year's Eve tradition you will see in Mexico, but that is most likely true of almost anywhere in the world you choose to celebrate. Here however, in addition to begin festive, the fireworks are meant to scare away evil spirits from following you into a new year.   

Get Packing
If you would like to travel in the coming year, you should take your suitcase for a walk around the block during the early hours of New Year's Day. Some say it can be an empty suitcase, while others state that you should pack for the trip that you wish to take. 

How are you planning to celebrate New Year's Eve? Your favorite Mexican restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks is closed until February 8, 2018, but Wicked Willie's Sports Grill is throwing an incredible New Year's Eve Party with dinner specials, live music, champagne at midnight, and lots of fun! If you're in town, you should check it out. However you decide to celebrate, know that all of us at Mexicali Blues wish you a wonderful new year, and we look forward to seeing you again in February. 

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