Latinxs traditions to welcome the new year
Every country has traditions, rituals, and 'superstitions' to welcome the new year. After all that happened in 2020, we will make sure we are better prepared for 2021.
Every country has a particular way of celebrating and preparing for the holidays; we see our own cultural traditions and beliefs reflected in them. In Latin America, many of these traditions are shared or very similar. We preserve them as rituals to accompany us in the transit from one year to another, despite the significant influence we have from the West.
This year, particularly the festivities or family gatherings to say goodbye to 2020, will be limited by the health situation we find ourselves in. However, this will not prevent us from using the best of the cabals and superstitions to welcome 2021.
For any Latinx, dinner is the central moment of the celebration, and we can notice the great influence of thanksgiving at the table. The main dish in some countries is baked turkey, but we can also find typical dishes that accompany the table. The tamales in Mexico and Colombia, rice with pigeon peas in Puerto Rico, custard, fritters in Colombia, and sweet bread (Panettone) in Peru, Argentina, and Chile are things that are never missing.
Superstitions to call prosperity and abundance we have many, in Peru and Ecuador, they use yellow underwear, in Mexico, you can not miss the plate of lentils. Similarly, in Peru, you put a handful of raw lentils in your pockets.
In the same way, fire and water are symbolic elements to leave behind the things we were not happy with the year that is ending. In Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, they burn dolls that represent the negative of the year, and with them, they also burn notes with the bad memories of the year. In Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay, they throw a bucket of water towards the street, the idea is to clean the way to the next year.
This year one of the traditions that didn't work was to go out for a walk around the block (with or without a suitcase) to attract travel. Needless to say, this December 31st at midnight, many will want to perform this cabal to break the streak of staying home.
Whatever the country of origin, we Latin Americans take these traditions with us wherever we go to keep us close to our roots and attract luck every year.