It’s that time of year to bring on good cheers and as the year 2013 is coming close to an end, many people are getting ready to celebrate their own way of welcoming the new year. Just like any other culture, Mexicans love to gather with close friends and family wishing love and prosperity for the coming year. What make our culture unique are the rituals and traditions that are performed before and after midnight to welcome those blessings upon ourselves and loved ones.
1. Eating 12 Grapes Before Midnight
While many Americans nab a kiss at the stroke of midnight or toast to the new year, Mexicans are busy eating 12 grapes with each chime of the clock’s bell. “Las doce uvas de la suerte” are to bring good luck in the new year.
2. Eating Lentils for Good Fortune
Eating a spoonful of cooked lentils brings good fortune for the coming year. Another tradition is giving guests a handful of dry lentils for prosperity.
3. Throwing a Bucket of Water Out the Window
Throwing a bucket of water out the window signifies throwing out the old year and welcoming the new.
4. Out With the Old in With The New
Cleaning the house, taking a bath, mopping the floors with water and cinnamon before midnight are all part of New Year rituals for new beginnings and renewal.
5. Sweeping Coins in the House
When midnight strikes, it’s tradition to symbolically sweep out the old year out the door and sweep in 12 coins from the outside in the house, this represents fortune and prosperity.
6. Colored Underwear
Ladies wear red underwear for love and passion on New Year’s eve, yellow underwear for prosperity and happiness, green for wealth and well being and white for hope and peace.
7. Walking the Suitcase
After midnight, It’s a ritual to walk an empty suitcase around the house or block to bring good travels in the coming year. An alternative is to place suitcases in the middle of a room for people to walk around them.
8. Burning Candles for Wealth and Food
A common New Year ritual in Mexico is placing candles on a white plate surrounded by lentils, beans, rice, corn, flour and cinnamon. The candles are left to burnout, the remaining waxy foods are collected and buried to promote good fortune and abundance of food for the coming year.
And of course the fireworks at midnight to frighten evil spirits away and to welcome good luck. Many Mexican like to continue the celebration with a late feast after enjoying fireworks on midnight.
Since the Aztec times, the Mexican culture are filled with traditions and celebrations, many being religious and others superstitious. These rituals is what make our culture rich and lively. However way you spend your New Years, the El Jalisco family wishes you good fortune, prosperity and good food! Feliz Año Nuevo from our family to yours!