Ring in the New Year With These 7 Mexican Traditions

In a few days you will be proclaiming "Happy New Year," or in Spanish, "Feliz Año Nuevo" to your friends and family. We expect 2019 to be a wonderful time, February in particular. (That's when your favorite Mexican restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks will be back from our winter break!) 

Here in the United States, most of you will be ringing in the new year with champagne toasts, feasts, parties, and watching the ball drop on TV in Times Square. In Mexico, they have a few of their own traditions and Mexicali Blues has some of those to share with you today.   

A Golden Midnight Toast
People in Mexico 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.)

Choose Your Underwear Wisely
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. If that seems too weird, you can 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

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!) Rumor has it 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.

Look Back
Resolutions are made for the coming year in Mexico much like in the United States but they also write down a list of everything bad that is going on in their life or that happened in the past year. That last list burned. This is supposed to purify negative thoughts and keep those bad vibes from coming back in the new year.

Get Packing
Anyone that desires to travel in the coming year takes their 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.

Let There Be Fireworks!
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.

What are your plans this year for New Year's Eve? Our Lake of the Ozarks Mexican restaurant is closed until February, but Wicked Willie's Sports Grill is throwing an incredible New Year's Eve Party in the nightclub with live music, incredible drinks, great food, and tons of fun. Then, once February 2019 rolls around, not only will Mexicali Blues be back open for lunch and dinner, but we'll also be participating in the 2019 Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras Pub Crawl once again! We can all do our "new year" partying together at that awesome event.

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