Saturday, December 29, 2012

Feliz Año: Hispanics welcome the New Year with rituals

Some eat 12 grapes. Others eat lunch with a serving of tasty lentis, and many clean the house top to bottom. Whatever their ritual, Hispanics hope 2013 brings prosperity, health and success.

The Rituals
Extravagant acts include jumping on one´s rigth foot while holding a glass of champagne with a gold ring in it. Others who are more intrepid run around the neighborhood with their suitcases in hand, but not before putting on yellow underwear - and wearing it backwards.
 In short, New Year rituals are a vivid example that there are no laws that govern taste.
The transition from the old year to the new comes loaded with symbolism that ultimately seek to bring good omens for the new period about to begin.

These are some of the most Hispanic rituals that are seen during this celebration:

The 12 Grapes: Tradition says that one should eat a grape for each time the bells rings at midnight. Some combine six green grapes with six black ones. Each grape must represent a wish.

Money in the Shoes: To attract economic fortunes it is recommeded that one place a bill in each shoe.

Clothing: Wearing a brand new outfit or clothing item symbolizes starting the new year with prosperity. Some recommend complementing the outfit with yellow underwear.

Lentils: A Spanish proverb says, "You eat them or you leave them." These legumes represent abundance, and it is believed that those who eat a plate pf them on New Year´s Eve ensure their economic stability.

Candles: The colors of the candles take on special meaning for New Year´s. Green is for health, yellow is plently, blue is peace, white is clarity, and red is passion.

Suitcases: A classic ritual is going outside with suitcases in hand and walking around the house which supposedly assures going on many trips.

´Burning´ the old year: Difficulties and obstacles that have arisen during the year are listed on a sheet of paper, and at midnight the paper is burned, symbolizing the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Sweeping: A clean and organized house represents and open door for the good things of a new year.

Traditions and rituals are passed from generation to generation. Whatever those are for you and your family, be sure to continue the custom.

Happy New Year 2013!

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