New Year's Eve around the world is usually about parties. But in Latin America, Latinos have traditions and rituals they never fail to do.

Since Latinos also live in several parts of the world, such as the United States, you might have noticed your Latino neighbors doing some of their cultural traditions during New Year's Eve.

To give you an idea, here are some of the New Year's Eve traditions and rituals Latinos usually do to welcome a new year.

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New Year's Eve Traditions in Latin America

Eating 12 Grapes

Although foods are abundant for the family to share during New Year's Eve, grapes should not be absent on the table. According to ABC News, most people from Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes at midnight. Each of the 12 grapes symbolizes good luck for each month of the year.

Potato Predictions

In Latin America, potatoes are not only used as a main course. People in countries like Peru and Colombia use potatoes to predict how much money will flow into an individual's year.

In this custom, Latinos use three potatoes: one completely peeled, one only half-skinned, and one that is not peeled at all. When the clock strikes 12, an individual must pick one of the potatoes. 

Completely peeled potato means no money, half-skinned potato means regular financial year, and potato unpeeled means extra good fortune for the incoming year.

Wearing the Right Shade of Underwear

According to Journey Latin America, the right shade of underwear is also believed to be connected to having an impact in the upcoming year. Red underwear symbolizes luck in love, while yellow underwear symbolizes good fortune and happiness.

Wearing White

In Brazil, wearing white underwear or dressing white completely while jumping seven waves in the ocean is a way to wish for good luck and good fortune for the upcoming year.


Although fire may give heat in the cold New Year's Eve, the flame is also used in several Latino traditions. In Panama and Ecuador, burning effigies or muñecos of people who played a big role in news, politics, or one's personal life is a symbolism of moving away from the old.

In Chile, people write down things they would like to change on a piece of paper and burn them.

Hanging Toy Lamb

In Mexico and other Latin American countries, hanging a wool toy lamb in the front door will attract good fortune.

Walking With a Suitcase

Many Latinos believe that walking in a circle with a suitcase around the block or around your home will attract travel opportunities for the incoming year.

Eating Lentils

Considering lentils as a menu for New Year's Eve is also customary for Latinos. Lentils represent prosperity and good fortune, and many countries in the region eat them at midnight.


Sweeping the floor for Latinos is important because it ensures that their home is "out with the old."

Throwing Water Out of the Window

Although it's chilly on New Year's Eve, Latinos throw a bucket of water on the windows or doors. The custom signifies renewal and releasing the past, as the water represents pain, suffering, and difficulty.

READ MORE: Day of the Dead or Dia De Muertos Parade in Mexico City Returns After Being Canceled in 2020 Due to COVID

This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Joshua Summers

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