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Celebrating the New Year with Mexican Rituals

January 4, 2024

Celebrating the New Year with Mexican Rituals

Happy New Year!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season creating beautiful memories with family and friends.

I know it’s a little late to share some Christmas traditions, but I wanted to share with you how some Hispanic families welcome the new year, particularly in Mexico. There are numerous superstitions which, for some, have turned into annual rituals or traditions which must be completed by December 31 to welcome the New Year with a clean slate.

These are some of the rituals that I have either tried in the past or continue to task myself with every year.

A clean home: The home must be clean, no laundry left in the basket, no dirty dishes left in the sink or the dishwasher, you sweep your entire home as to sweep away any lingering negative vibes, a window or door is opened throughout the day (December 31st) to ensure the positive energy of the coming year flows into your home.

The outfit: In preparation to welcome the new year, the evening garments are selected by taking into consideration the colors that will bring prosperity throughout the year. For example, this year the Christmas color was green to be worn on Christmas Eve/Day and for New Years since this year, the Chinese New Year will celebrate the year of the wood dragon, the colors were red, gold, brown, and green. I selected red and gold.

At midnight: Depending on what you are hoping to accomplish in the coming year, for example if you want to travel, you prepare by having your suitcases out and your passport in your purse and walk around the house at midnight, a quick walk around the house to ensure travel is in your future.

If you want abundance, you shower yourself with lentils, as these symbolize coins; just a handful over your head with your dominant hand. The ones that fall on the ground are saved and stored in a small red pouch, which you leave in your wallet throughout the year. For extra abundance and good luck, you eat a bowl of cooked lentils on December 31st.

The grapes for good luck: This is an opportunity to make 12 wishes for the New Year. At midnight, you eat 12 grapes, which represent the 12 months of the year. You can prepare by drafting your 12 wishes in advance. This is a very popular tradition; Patricia Delatorre from Ontario International Airport and her friends and family also eat grapes at midnight.

The bucket of water: To start the new year fresh and vibrant and get rid of the past year, a bucket of water is thrown out a door or a window. It is believed that in doing so, tranquility will reign in the home as well.

I know what you are thinking, total chaos for some people, especially if they are trying to do multiple rituals at midnight. It happens, and I can attest to it, it is chaotic, but this is where your multitasking abilities are tested.

These are just some of the rituals my family, friends and I have done in the past. It is usually a fun way to welcome the new year, by ensuring you will have laughter, joy, and a positive attitude in the new year.

Zenia Cornejo
Falcon Field Airport

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