Americas: End of the Year Traditions

One Latinas Blog writes about Las Posadas: A Mexican Tradition

Las Posadas are the remarkable buildup to Christmas Eve. Las Posadas are the most delightful and unique Mexican tradition that begins on December 16th to commemorate the events in the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. After dark, each night of the “Posada,” a procession begins led by two children. The children carry a small pine-decorated platform bearing replicas of Joseph and Mary riding a burro. Other members of the company, all with lighted long slender candles, sing the “Litany of the Virgin” as they approach the door of the house assigned to the first “Posada.” Together they chant an old traditional song and awaken the mast of the house to ask lodging for Mary. Those within the house threaten the company with beatings unless they move on. Continue Reading…

From Nika's Culinaria: Colombian Tamales How-To Guide

Christmas in Colombia is QUITE a production. Its not just one or two days like here in the US and it can be exhausting if you are not used to partying constantly for a better part of some 15 days, day and night after day and night. If you think you will be spending Christmas in Colombia next year be sure to condition your liver with a serious regimen of rum training over several months. Otherwise, you will be such a light-weight that you will not remember past December 15th or so. Get the scoop now…

Now it is time to find out about the New Year's traditions:

From Ecuador, Pacho Lara welcomes the 2008 sharing what is a tradition to do for this festivities:

New year's in Ecuador is also known as the “old year.” As the name suggests, the various traditions not only celebrate the new year, but also commemorate the passing year. There are various secular traditions and rituals that are observed, all of them with some personal or social significance. Some of these traditions are quite peculiar, like eating twelve grapes, lentils, and changing into yellow underware (ladies) at midnight (all supposedly for good luck). If you want to travel during the new year, you should run around the house or the neighborhood with a piece of luggage at midnight. There are other similar small things you can do to bring success in other areas of your life. But the most interesting part about new year´s celebration, for me at least, is the tradition of burning the “old year.” Read more…

From Dominican Republic, writes about how much they enjoy to wait for the new year with their families: Esperaran Año en Familia [es]

La mayoría de las personas que optaron por quedarse en la capital y la provincia Santo Domingo durante el feriado de año nuevo, dijeron que esperarán la llegada del 2008 “en familia”, con una cena modesta, haciendo cuentos y jugando.

Most of the people who decided to stay during the new year holiday in the capital and the province of Santo Domingo, expressed their plans of waiting for the new year with their families, with a nice simple dinner, telling stories and playing some games…

From Panama, Chiriqui Chatter vividly describes how the 2008 was received in David, province of Chiriqui: David Celebrates the New Year.

The closer it came to midnight, the greater the activity outside. About five to ten minutes before midnight, I gave up and went out to the balcony.

There were a fair amount of rockets going off, but nothing like midnight itself. At midnight the whole world seemed to start exploding. It was incredible. I watched for several minutes before, I decide I should take a few photos to record this event.

I should have taken some photos of all the fireworks stands that have been set up in David. I mean there have been stands set up everywhere. Read the complete post…

From Panama too, Boquete Guide describes with photos the colorful way people in Boquete, province of Chiriqui celebrated: Welcome 2008 Boquete Style

Fireworks in Boquete, Chiriqui (Panama)
Fireworks in Boquete, David (Panama)
Photos by Lee Zeltzer

The Latin Americanist shares a compilation of Latin American New Year's Traditions:

With New Year's just days away, most of us have our party plans set. Part of those plans include partaking in traditions with roots in our native countries. Many of us partake of the ritual stemming from madre Spain, eating 12 grapes at the 12 strokes of midnight, making a wish with each uva and ensuring 12 months of good luck…

From Bolivia, Vania Balderrama revises what people traditionally do to receive the new year: Tradiciones de Año Nuevo [es]

Comer Cerdo -
Se dice que en la cena de año nuevo y en el primer día del nuevo año hay que comer cerdo para tener abundancia el año que viene. Según mi suegra, nunca se debe comer pollo, a menos que quieras pasar el año que viene todo desplumado y sin un quinto en el bolsillo.

Las Doce Uvas - Preparas en un platillo doce uvas de cualquier color. En cuanto den las doce campanadas, comes una por una pidiendo un deseo por cada una que se come.

Contar Plata – Justo a media noche contar un fajo de dinero, esto para que no falte durante todo el año.

Eat Pork: people eat pork at the New Year's eve dinner and during the first day of the year for good luck. This will bring abundance during the whole year. According to my mother in law, we should never eat chicken, because you will be broke all year long!
The Twelve Grapes: before midnight secure twelve grapes of any color. At twelve, eat them one by one, each time thinking of something you really want to achieve during the new year.
Count Money: Just at midnight start counting money, with this practice you will always have plenty during the year. Continue reading…

Para recibir a los Tres Reyes Magos, The Cooking Diva prepares Three Kings Tropical Bread with Coffee (Rosca de Reyes al Café) and explains about this tradition:

Rosca Rey de Reyes, or Rosca de los Reyes, is eaten in México, Puerto Rico, and Portugal on Twelfth Night (January 6th), celebrated in the Catholic religion as the day the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for Jesus of Nazareth. A tiny ceramic doll, coin, or bean may be hidden in the bread, and traditionally the person who finds it throws a party on Candlemass (February 2nd), or is in charge of preparing the “Rosca” for the following year.

In this recipe we are using coffee to re-hydrate the dried fruits instead of the more commonly used port wine or dark rum, adding an innovative twist to the flavor combinations. Please note that this specialty bread involves a 2-day process, so be sure to set aside enough time for the steps involved. Read more…

1 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Stay up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details. Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site