Little-known rituals to welcome the New Year in Latin America


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In this new year, everyone expects health, happiness and joy.

How is Latin America celebrating the arrival of the new year?

Each country has different ways of celebrating the old year and welcoming the new year. In the popular imagination, it is a ritual that allows one to come full circle and start another on the right foot.

Some of them are similar with one or the other variant depending on the country.

Others are standardized across the region based on traditions from other countries.

Some of these rituals are well known Famous 12 grapes Swallow a wish for every stroke at midnight.

They are also They put a bill in their pocket or put a coin in their shoe So there will be no shortage of money in the coming year.

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Twelve grapes with a hint of midnight is a tradition that has spread throughout Latin America.

And there’s no one missing the giver Go around the block with a suitcase To ensure a minimum year of travel. There are also those who perform this ritual with their passport in hand.

Whether they are known or not, similar or different, all these rituals have one thing in common: Try to start the New Year with prosperity. There are those who ask for money, the health of others or the love they yearn for; And others who do it for fun or “on occasion”.

Which of these rituals is not well known?

Throw water out the window …

Water is a powerful catalyst for change and renewal. But in some countries you have to be careful not to put a bucket of water on your head if you are walking down the street on the last day of the year.

Celebrated in Uruguay “El Baltaso”, who throws a bucket full of water out the window into the street. This tradition is meant to ward off the sorrows of the coming year and welcome someone who is prosperous.

Since Southern Horn is summer, a lot of people don’t take it too seriously and see it as a sport (or something boring depending on who throws or takes the water).

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If you are in Uruguay, watch out for “El Baltaso”.

Other versions reduce the size and instead of a bucket, they throw a glass or “bombida”, a balloon filled with water.

In Cuba something like that is called “Cubaso”, As in Uruguay, involves throwing a bucket of water through windows and balconies. It has two purposes: to purify the energy and to make fun of the neighbor.

… and papers

Another variation of water is throwing papers out the windows. This is also the case in Uruguay Throw away old calendars (Or Almanacs) already broken or burnt.

This may be due to the tradition of removing everything that is old to make room for the new items that the new year will bring.

They don’t have to be calendars. In some countries, they tend to clean the house thoroughly as a cleaning process, whether it is shoes that you no longer use or do not need.

Elsewhere, sweepers ensure that dust comes out of the interior from the door. But be sure to clean every nook as deeply as possible so that the old year energies don’t stay in the house.

Annual burns and “widows”

Like water, fire is an element, that is to say of renewal or purification.

In many Latin American countries, Burn a toy or toy Made from flammable materials such as paper, sawdust and old clothes.

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Toys are burnt in many countries.

In Ecuador, “old age burning” is popular and involves burning a toy from colonial times. It refers to a famous person, real or imagined, such as a politician or the protagonist of a movie.

Along with this tradition “Widows”, Men dressed as women in overdone make-up and wigs, as they walk through traffic “in tears” for the “old man,” they ask for a collection that can then be used for dinner.

A few minutes before midnight, amid widows’ cries of pain, a testament prepared with a lot of humor and satire is read. People celebrate by performing other rituals such as the twelve grapes and the tour of the suitcase.

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In northern Chile, on the other hand, the “Burning monkeys”These are large figures of recycled paper and old objects that represent the worst experiences of the coming year.

The practice of burning toys has spread to Nicaragua (also known as “El Vizo”), Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and parts of Venezuela and Argentina.

Another variation of the practice in many countries is, quite simply, to write several New Year’s greetings (usually three) on a piece of paper or to write the bad of the year and burn it at midnight. Respective precautions.

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Want to get rid of the clutter of the old year? Write it down on a piece of paper and burn it.

Lentils, but not just for eating

Eat lentils if you want good luck. This diet is believed to mean not only good health but also good luck.

There are those who don’t control themselves just by eating them. There are also researchers Usually place lenses where there is money, Such as pockets for clothes or wallets.

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There are those who hold a handful of lentils in their hands and hug their loved ones and wish them a happy new year or put these beans in the corners of the house for good luck to return home.

This practice applies not only to legumes but also to various grains such as rice. They are placed on a plate with a candle on the night of the 31 Then they are buried.

Many believe that the lenses are reminiscent of ancient Roman coins, which is why they are so common in Italy.

Although for luck and money, people only trust a handful of lentils or rice nearby.

There are those who are used to Mexico Give the sheep Whereas it is an animal that brings happiness (not in vain, Mexicans informally call money “wool”).

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In Costa Rica, people usually carry a branch of Santa Lucia, a plant with purple flowers believed to bring good luck. It is kept in wallets and bags so that the money does not go missing.

What will the weather be?

If you are in Mexico or Colombia, you might be familiar with what cabanules are called temporoz in some parts of Spain.

But if you don’t know what they are, this is a traditional method. Weather forecast. And many, confident in their authenticity, look to them for what the New Year’s climate will be like.

There are those who insist that there is no scientific rigor in this method. But that doesn’t stop us from using the last day of the year or January 1 to see what the weather will be like in the next 12 months and even plan accordingly.

The diagram is as follows: The first twelve days of January represent a month in ascending order (January 1 marks January, January 2 marks February, January 3 marks March and so on). From January 13 to 24, it’s the same but backwards (January 13, December, January 14, November, etc.).

From January 25 to 30, each day represents two months in ascending order (January 25 marks from midnight to noon in January and January 25 from noon to midnight in February).

Finally on the 31st, each two-hour extension marks a month in the descending direction (from midnight to 2:00 am to December, from 2:00 am to 4:00 am to November…).

You can not miss in Peru and Bolivia Ego, A figure a few centimeters long represents a man in the usual attire of the Andean highlands.

Although the worship of this character is not limited to the New Year, people regard the presence of this Aymara deity as a great opportunity.

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Echo refers to abundance.

It is said that the ekeko is loaded with many packages filled with food and basic necessities. If you take good care of it, it will bring abundance and happiness.

But be careful, because if neglected or abandoned, Echo can turn the tide and bring bad luck.

The care of this talisman at the end of the year coincides with the fact that the Alasita exhibition is celebrated in January, a traditional holiday in which Echo is a central figure.


In some Central American countries, it is customary to crack an egg and put it in a glass of water. There are those who throw it out the window or put it under the bed on the night of December 31st.

It is said that the shape of the egg is in the new year.

The epidemic has left us

It is known that the most important factor to take into account is the clothes you are wearing when the bell rings at 12 p.m.

In countries like Venezuela, this is called “bringing the prime minister” or “putting the bait” on the latest outfits. The idea is that you can’t catch yourself wearing New Years clothes.

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Color is also important. Yellow for money (many insist it should be underwear), red for partner seekers, and white for good energy.

But modern times demand modern solutions, and there are those who wear masks in these colors and replace old ways with new ones.

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