The Most Curious Latino Traditions For The End Of The Year

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Here is our guide to the most curious Latino traditions and superstitions for the end of the year

Person sweeping and a bunch of grapes

There are some superstitions in Latin America that seek to make the following year the most fruitful possible. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Guía de tradiciones y supersticiones más curiosas para el fin de año

The New Year is a perfect time to make that life change that you need so much. Therefore, there are some superstitions in Latin America that seek to make the following year as fruitful as possible. Here are some of the traditions that we take part in in Latin America. 

Getting under the table

This is a superstition that originated in Mexico, but has become popular throughout Latin America. It is directly related to the possibility of finding love, something that many people show on social networks, since they indicate that this habit allowed them to find a partner.

Another variation of this, is to use a red ribbon tied to the waist under the clothes. This ritual is based on the belief that red is the color of passion, so wearing an accessory of this shade means that you ask the universe for a new year full of love.

Going around the block with suitcases

This is a tradition that arose in Colombia and Venezuela. It is about going around the neighborhood in the first minutes of the new year with an empty suitcase. This habit is very common in people who want to travel, so the further you go, the longer your travels will be.

Usually, the ritual is performed in a clockwise direction, with a minimum of 7 laps. In addition, during the tour, the person can focus on the destinations they want to know, repeating to themselves not only the desire but the affirmation that they will get to the place they want. 

Wearing yellow underwear

Originally from Asia, this ritual became popular in almost all Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador. This omen is related to the fact that yellow was historically associated with the abundance of gold, so it is related to economic prosperity.

However, many people perform "variations" on this tradition. For example, if you use reddish-toned underwear, you are asking for luck in love. 

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Doll burning

This ritual arose in Argentina, but it has also become popular in Ecuador. The idea is to create dolls in the streets, which are burned for good luck. This has a direct relationship with sacrifices, since it is believed that the dolls that end up at the stake are an offering to the gods, who will bless all the neighbors who participated in the pyre.

Eat 12 grapes

This habit is believed to have started in Puerto Rico but has become popular throughout the world, including in several Latin American countries. The idea is that, once the clock points to 12:00 am on January 1 and the chimes begin, 12 grapes are eaten that will represent the months of the year.

In this way, people should make a wish for each of the grapes they will eat. This belief has its variation in Colombia, since many people directly keep a handful of them in their pockets, as a way to preserve the good vibes of the new year for the future.