If this year didn’t go your way or you just want next year to be even better, then you’re in luck. Latinos have hella traditions to ring in the new year, and they have you covered in all aspects of life. From how to have a better love life, to getting your stacks up, to guaranteeing travel in the new year, here are eight things you can do to up your chances for success at the stroke of midnight.
[This story was originally published in December 2015.]
One of the most common Latin American traditions – brought to us by Spain – is eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The first 12 seconds of the year are reserved for this tradition, and if you eat the 12 grapes in that very short time, then you’re guaranteed a year of good fortune.
Wearing specific colors of clothes & underwear
There are a few superstitions when it comes to clothes. If you wear new clothes, for example, you won’t find yourself needing any new clothes throughout the year. Other clothing-related traditions are more specific.
Brazilians may wear head-to-toe white, according to ABC. And then, they have to jump seven waves or put flowers in the oceans. Across Latin America, people wear yellow, white, or red underwear for luck. Red is supposed to help your love life, and black is the equivalent of walking under a ladder.
To get rid of bad vibes, people clean their houses to start the new year off right. Sweep all the bad stuff out (which seems kinda rude if you live in an apartment building), and also make sure to get rid of stuff you don’t need or use.
Placing money inside shoes
Get your money right in the new year by placing bills or coins inside your shoes. There are a few other ways you can handle this, too. Siempre Mujer says that you can fill your pockets with bills, and they don’t even have to belong to you, (but coins apparently don’t count).
Another superstition says to put 13 gold coins in a red coin holder, which you need to have with you during NYE dinner.
Uruguayans throw a bucket of water out the window on NYE. It’s another way to get rid of bad energy.
Packing your bags
For a year full of travel, grab your bags – it doesn’t matter if they are empty or not – and walk around the block at the stroke of midnight.
Eating three spoonfuls of unsalted lentils at midnight will lead to a prosperous new year.
In some countries, like Peru, you don’t even have to eat them – you can just keep them in your pocket or purse to bring money for the new year.
Burning the old
Ecuador and other countries burn el año viejo, which is represented by a large doll made of straw. The doll resembles one of the family members, and whoever is chosen writes a silly will. At midnight, the dolls are burned on the street.