In Mexico and some other Latin American countries, women wear yellow underwear on New Year's Eve to bring good luck and wealth in the year to come. Wearing red underwear indicates a New Year's wish for an exciting love interest! Whatever the color, be sure your unmentionables for Año Nuevo are newly purchased--recycling a former year's undies won't do the trick!
Superstition or not, many here in Mexico have the custom of many ritos del Año Nuevo (New Year's rituals). Some rituals include foods, others prescribe certain clothing, and still others warrant attention for their religious interest.
As the clock strikes midnight to ring out the old and ring in the New Year, it's common to eat twelve grapes--one at each ding, one at each dong of the bell. While eating the grapes, you make a personal wish for each one you consume, welcoming the new year that's beginning. Mexico Cooks! finds that it's helpful to write down the twelve wishes so as not to forget one or choke in the rush to swallow the grapes before the clock finishes striking the hour!
Sweep all the rooms of your house, your front steps, and the street in front of your house to remove all traces of the old year. Some people put 12 gold coins outside--to be swept into the house after the house is swept clean. The coins are to invite money and other abundance to come into the home. Photo courtesy Jeff Trotter.
Eating a tablespoonful of cooked lentils on New Year's Eve is said to bring prosperity and fortune. You can also give raw lentil as a gift--just a handful--with the same wish for abundance for family and friends.
Take your suitcase for a walk. Legend is that the farther you walk with your suitcase, the farther you'll travel. Several New Year's Eves ago, Mexico Cooks! and a few friends celebrated by walking our suitcases around the block, and we all traveled far and wide during the new year that followed.
We'll see you right here throughout 2017--celebrating TEN YEARS of the joy of sharing Mexico' cuisines and cultures with all of you.
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