Have you ever wondered how Latin American countries celebrate the New Year? Here are 5 fun traditions carried out by families as they say “adiós” to 2022 and “bienvenido” to 2023!
1) Running around the block with suitcases:
This funny tradition is celebrated in countries like Colombia and some regions of Ecuador and Panama. At midnight, families gather their suitcases and start running around the block to bring travel and adventures for the upcoming year. Seeing crowds of people laughing and running with suitcases across the streets is quite an experience, search up some of the videos!
2) Eating 12 grapes at midnight:
Once the clock strikes midnight in Latin America, as friends and families hug and cheer on the new year, they eat 12 grapes and make 12 wishes for the new year. This tradition started centuries ago in Spain, and was brought to Latin America in the 19th century. It has stayed in Latin American culture ever since, including in countries like Costa Rica!
3) Burning rag dolls that symbolize the old year:
Since the late 19th century, countries like Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, and Venezuela create funny rag dolls that symbolize the old year. Sometimes these rag dolls are dressed up as controversial politicians, “novela” characters, movie characters, and more. Burning the rag doll symbolizes burning all the bad things that happened in the past to leave room for good moments for the next one.
4) Throwing buckets of water and shredded calendars out the window:
In some regions of Uruguay, people throw buckets of water out the window to bring on good energy for the new year. Some use water balloons and even water guns to pull pranks on people walking by! In Argentina, some office workers shred old papers and old calendars and throw them out the window. This leaves room for new things for the upcoming year!
5) Writing a letter to your past year and burning it:
Dear 2022…Some countries like Chile and Colombia also write letters to their past year, where they vent and reflect on the good and the bad. Once everyone is done writing, families pile up their letters and carefully burn them all. This symbolizes leaving the old behind, expressing gratitude, and celebrating everything that is to come!
Happy 2023, Amigos!! ¡Feliz año!🥳🎉