Popular Latinx New Year’s Eve Traditons


Carol Sanchez

Eating 12 grapes at midnight and making 12 wishes is a popular Latinx New Year’s Eve tradition.

Carol Sanchez, Writer

New Year’s Eve in Latin America brings joyful times and fascinating traditions. While most people are awaiting the ball drop in New York City, Latinx families are likely participating in various traditions that have been known to welcome a fresh year full of prosperity and good fortune. These actions range from eating 12 grapes to burning a doll into flames. No matter how bizarre some of these traditions may seem, they are the token for ensuring a good year ahead. 

1. Eating 12 grapes

As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, every family member and friend should be given 12 grapes in a bowl and have 12 wishes lined up. Each grape represents one month of the year and as each grape is eaten, a wish should be made. Though, one grape must be consumed in a second. This popular tradition is meant to bring good fortune for each month in the incoming year.

2. Suitcase around the block

This tradition may seem odd but if traveling is a goal you have for the new year, it’s a tradition that must be done. To ensure a year of happy travels, take a walk around the block with a suitcase in hand. Did you have a specific destination in mind? Pack the suitcase with items that represent the location such as a swimsuit and sandals for a tropical destination. 

3. Bucket of water

If you are you seeking to rid yourself of negative energy, this might be something you should partake in come the new year. To let go of negative energy or something that happened in your past, throw a bucket of water out of a window. This action signifies moving on from the past and accepting a future of new beginnings.

4. Lentils

Whether you’ve decided to make lentil soup or keep dried lentils in your pocket, both of these options will have the same effect. Eating lentils or having dried lentils in your hands or pockets throughout the night is thought to bring you wealth in the upcoming year because its shape resembles that of a coin. 

5. Underwear color

If 2021 didn’t meet your relationship or income standards, you may have worn the wrong underwear last New Year’s Eve. Yellow underwear should be your go-to if you would like good fortune for the upcoming year and the possibility of bringing in more money. If your love life is your main concern, wear red underwear. Wearing red underwear is said to bring passion and love into your life. You may even want to wear both for good measure. 

6. Doll burnings

This tradition holds the same symbolic nature as throwing a bucket of water out of a window, but it’s elevated. Burning dolls in the streets is a tradition that’s deeply rooted in the Ecuadorian culture on New Year’s. The dolls are created out of paper-mâché or old clothing stuffed with newspaper. The dolls get taken a step further when the creators put a mask on them which are typically of some sort of character, a politician or anyone they weren’t fond of that year. As the clock reaches midnight, the dolls are placed together and are set ablaze. Ecuadorian New Year’s traditions are meant to have a fun aura and the dolls allow for the release of the past and welcoming of what lies ahead in the future.

What do you think?