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In the Latino community, different ways of celebrating take place before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Now that holiday has come and gone we want to know which unique tradition did you celebrate! Here are twelve traditions that Latin countries do to ring in the new year. 

1. Eating twelve green grapes at midnight

This tradition was originally founded in Spain and has been developed by many Latin cultures through the years. The twelve grapes symbolize the twelve months of the year and as the clock counts down to midnight it is believed that good luck will be brought to you in the new year.

2. Walking around the block with a suitcase (Colombia)

Haven’t gotten the chance to travel this year? You might be able to change that. Many latinos carry out this tradition in the hopes that they’ll travel in the new year. In Colombia, people walk around the block with a suitcase to ensure that they’ll travel in the new year. There are even different ways to carry out this tradition such as, “Some people say it should be new luggage, some say it should be packed, and some say neither of those things matters.”

3. Wearing New colorful clothing (Dominican Republic)

In the Dominican Republic, it is tradition to wear colorful clothing on New Year’s because it represents your wish for the new year.  An article states, “The colour of your new clothes is significant, so style yourself carefully. Each colour represents a different wish for the year ahead. Green is for financial prosperity, white for health, yellow for work ethic and opportunities, and red for a better future.”


4. Pan Dulce (Argentina)

It’s a tradition in Argentina as well as in multiple Latin countries to make Pan Dulce as a dessert on New Year’s Eve. This is a must-have dish at your next new years eve party, it goes great with wine or champagne.


5. Wishes Lanterns (Costa Rica)

Everyone makes new year’s resolutions and things they’d like to accomplish at the start of a new year. Instead of making a checklist of resolutions or wishes for the new year. Residents in Costa Rica write their wishes for the new year, place them in a lantern and send them up into the night sky.


 6. Pork Meat Dinner (Bolivia)


Dinner is the best part of any holiday, especially on New Year. In my opinion, it’s the best way to end the current year; The whole family gathered at the table sharing their wishes for the new year. In Bolivia people celebrate with a pork meat dinner to kick off the celebrations as the clock ticks down to midnight.


7. Fireworks (Honduras)


Fireworks during new years eve are one of the many shared traditions that countries around the world participate in. In Honduras it is no different, fireworks are lit and the merriment of the civilians is carried throughout the course of the evening with drinks, music, dancing, and singing.


8. Hitting on pots and pans (Portugal)

According to history, this next tradition was started as a way to keep evil spirits from entering your homes. Individuals in Portugal still carry out this tradition every year on New Year’s Eve. This is a great way to welcome the new year and get rid of any negativity from the previous year. 


9. Eating pomegranate seeds (Brazil)


Many Latinos believe that eating certain foods will bring good luck. In Brazil, many believe that eating pomegranate seeds will do just that. They’ve even created a variety of delicious foods and drinks that include pomegranates to serve at New Years’ Eve parties such as a Pomegranate Caipirinha or Chicken with pomegranate and Brazil nuts.


10. Burning away the old year (Ecuador)

According to an article, this next tradition was created decades ago to “show that Indigenous populations, specifically the people from Otavalo, would burn a doll symbolizing a feudal leader during the celebration of the solstice in December, March, and June.” Over time this tradition has become a way that people can forget the problems of the past year and begin a new one ready for change.


11. Plaza De Armas (Peru)

If you’re from New York you know the best place to be on New Year’s Eve is Time Square where you can watch the ball drop, and watch celebrities perform live on stage. In Peru, the best place to be on New Year’s is the Plaza de Armas. During New Year’s Plaza de Armas is filled with music, dancing, food, and fireworks. 


12. Crack an egg into a glass of water (El Salvador)


There are more ways than one to ensure good luck in Latin America. According to an article, “The custom in El Salvador is to crack an egg into a glass of water and leave it overnight by an open window. In the morning, the figure revealed by the egg represents the aspect that will bring good fortune in the coming year.”

This list is just some of the many ways that the Latin community celebrates New Year. Wherever you are in the world and however you decided to celebrate this holiday, I hope this upcoming year brings you everything you want. Happy New Year from all of us here at TodoWafi!

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Madison-Taylor Hernandez
Madison-Taylor is a Senior Writer at TodoWafi. She grew up in a Puerto Rican family and is passionate about the culture, music/arts, and literature of the Latin Community. Her hopes for the future are to work for a book publishing company and achieve her dream of bringing stories to life.