What we do in Mexico to welcome the New Year
Without a doubt, throughout the world there are traditions to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new year. This might be a result of people hoping that the coming year will bring greater things - health, money, prosperity, love, and good fortune. This tradition goes back to the year 46 B.C., in Rome. The emperor Julius Caesar was paying tribute to Janus, god of doors and all beginnings. He decided to have a party, with lots of food, offerings and sweets since the new year should be received with great joy and abundance for 10 days. Therefore, January is named after Janus because this month is the door into the new year. In Roman mythology, Janus was represented as a man of two faces, one looking forward and the other looking back.
Mexicans are accustomed to saying farewell to the old year and welcoming in the new one. There is no scientific proof that any of this will work, or that it will guarantee a more promising new year. Nonetheless, we do it because it is fun, and we love to be optimistic about the future,
The toast or “El brindis”
The toast is a very important part of the New Year’s Eve “ritual.” We toast best wishes, to encourage leaving bad habits and to pronouncing our little commitments for the new year. We might not even remember by June, but it is still a customary part of our toast.
You are supposed to eat 12 grapes as soon as the clock marks midnight of the new year - everyone starts counting to eat them at the same time. It gets a little tricky because you are supposed to do it exactly in the first 12 seconds of the new year. Each grape represents a month of the year and by tasting each grape, you can predict how that month will go.
Sweep the floors, declutter and shower
On December 31st, it is believed that one of the most important things to do is cleaning - your floors, your closets and yourself. IIt is customary to sprinkle salt close to a door and sweep it, this represents a way to “sweep away '' bad energy that your home might have accumulated during the past year. It is important to start the year fresh and clean, so most people clean the entire house. Decluttering basements, closets and/or garages represents the way we get rid of obstacles.
There are some people who swear by this tradition and can assure you it is highly effective. Anywhere you go in Mexico, shopping malls or department stores, you will find a lot of advertisements for colorful underwear. This is not only for women, but it often comes in a family package. is how it works: Are you looking for love? Red. Are you wishing for money and prosperity? Yellow. Do you want to be healthy and well? Green. Do you want to find the love of your life? Pink. It is too bad any print fabric or even white or nude are not part of the ritual, but can you imagine rainbow undies? Might be a little ambitious - but doable.
Everybody likes fireworks, and in Mexico on New Year’s Eve, it becomes a 4th of July firework celebration. The show normally begins at midnight and lasts for around half an hour. Each town or municipality has a display of fireworks that day. In Mexico, buying pyrotechnics is not prohibited, which leads to multiple accidents that night. When using them safely and responsibly, it becomes one of the most expected and fun things to do among the young ones.
Run around the block with a suitcase
Ok, this might sound a little strange to you, but hear me out. At 11:55 PM, you need to be at the door with an empty suitcase and walk around the block at least once to be granted many vacations and trips. The farther you go with the suitcase, the farther you will go on your trips. Fun fact? You might run into a couple of neighbors doing this exact thing, so have fun!
We hope you can try at least one of our traditions and let us know how it goes by June. Who knows, it might work for you, too!
Happy New Year!