Culture

Here’s How 11 Latin American Countries Celebrate New Years Eve

New Years Eve is always an exciting time. No matter where you are in the world, New Years symbolizes a fresh start, an opportunity to make important changes for the next cycle around the sun. In the US, New Years evokes visions of popping champagne, watching the ball drop in Times Square, finding someone to kiss right at midnight and partying until morning comes. But in Latin America, the traditions are quite different—and each country has its own unique take on celebrating Nochevieja.

New Years in Mexico

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If you find yourself in Mexico on New Years Eve, you’ll want to have lentils on hand. Some people leave lentils outside their front door, while others indulge in lentil soup right as the clocks strikes midnight. Lentejas are thought of as a symbol for luck and prosperity, so if you’re out on the town, think about keeping some in your pocket for good measure.

New Years in Honduras

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In Honduras, the Comayagua Church Bell is the center of all Nochevieja celebrations. Dating back to the 12th century, it is the oldest operating clock in the Americas, and people wait excitedly and expectantly for the clock to ring 12 times at midnight to usher in the New Year.

New Years in Panama

If you’ve ever traveled to Panama in late December, you’ve probably seen a multitude of muñecos de año viejo scattered all over the place, ready to  be burned. Stuffed with dried leaves (and the occasional firecracker), these life-size dolls are dressed in old clothes and shoes and often wear wigs, serving as a symbol for what the creator wants to leave behind in the new year. They are often topical, representing political or pop culture figures.

New Years in Colombia

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In Colombia, lentils are also considered good luck and muñecos de año viejo are also burned—but another Colombian traditions involves walking around the block with an empty suitcase, especially if you hope for a year full of travel and adventure!

New Years in Venezuela

Credit: Public Domain Photography

In Venezuela, like many other countries on New Years Eve, fireworks are the star of the show. Known as triqui-traquis, these Venezuelan spectacles mean business. Just look at some of these names:  “fosforitos” (those tiny flash paper fireworks), “Matasuegra,” and “Tumba Rancho.”

New Years in Ecuador

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In Ecuador, three candles are lit at midnight on New Years Eve: one for health, one for money, and one for love. Like many other Latin American countries, Ecuador burns muñecos de año viejo (here, they’re just referred to as año viejos) and men often dress up as women and dance through the streets, pretending to be the widows of the dolls.

New Years in Peru

 

Credit: Aracari Travel

On New Years Eve, Peruvians place three potatoes under a chair– one peeled, one half-peeled and one unpeeled. At midnight, one potato is chosen at random, and this potato predicts the state of next year’s finances. The peeled potato signifies bad financial fortune, half-peeled signifies a normal year, and unpeeled signifies a great bounty in the year to come. They also write down five wishes, and dipping each wish in champagne guarantees that it will come true!

New Years in Bolivia

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This tradition is observed in many Latin American countries, but it is especially prevalent in Bolivia. On Nochevieja, it is imperative to wear either yellow or red underwear. Yellow underwear brings wealth and luck, and red attracts love  for the wearer.

New Years in Argentina

Credit: Wander Argentina

On the last day of the year, Argentinians shred old documents and papers as a metaphor for leaving the past in the past. People then use the scraps of paper for their New Years celebrations, often tossing them from their windows all over the city in a joyful shower of confetti.

New Years in Brazil

Credit: Pinterest

On New Years Eve, Brasileños will often don all-white outfits. The color is meant as a symbol for peace and prosperity. Some locals will even send white flowers and candles into the ocean, as a spiritual offering made with the hope that their Nochevieja wishes will  be granted.

New Years in Chile

Credit: Shutterstock

In Chile, when drinking celebratory champagne at midnight, the key is to drop a gold ring into the glass. This token is thought to bring good luck and abundance in the year to come, and the delights of a bubbly sip of champagne also bode well for the future.

There is a lot of overlap with Nochevieja traditions in Latin America, but what is one thing that all of these countries have in common? Counting down to midnight, people all over Latin America (and Spain!) stuff their mouths with 12 grapes, each one symbolizing a wish for the new year. We hope your grapes are sweet—not sour—and that 2020 is, too!

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Guys Talk About The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts To Give Last Minute

Fierce

Guys Talk About The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts To Give Last Minute

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to cue the balloons, bouquet of red roses and pink and heart everything! The truth is, even as one of the most manufactured and cheesy holidays, Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful way to remind the person in your life that you love them.

And while it often seems like the pressure has to solely be on one partner, it’s also a time of year for us all to step up.

Fortunately, Reddit is teeming with ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for men.

Check it out below!

“I was in college (22M). I a girl I had known since high school had a crush on me and I could tell. She was a student at the same university and we would occasionally meet our group of friends for lunch. This little gathering had gone on for several semesters and we all knew each other quite well. This girl had a really rough life and a learning disability that prevented her from reading social situations and advancing in her studies. I had been trough an incredibly difficult break up the previous semester and was looking at a lonely Valentine’s day. I am not sure if she was told by a mutual friend or if she took her own initiative but she got me a little sucker bouquet in a coffee mug for me. I have a really bad sweet tooth and am a coffee addict so this was the perfect gift. We ended up getting lunch just the two of us and had a great time. I will always remember how much fun I had.” –Brighter_Lighter

“My girlfriend made me a comic book of us and all of our adventures. Yes I cried.” –FireButchJones

“When I first started dating my now fiance, we worked together, along with her ex. When he found out we were dating he tried talking to me in the breakroom, and casually talked shit, saying shes clingy, etc. Then he said “You know, I would tell you some more stuff but im afraid you’d chirp (while making a talking hand gesture)”. He tried to act ghetto to the point where I was embarrassed for him. That became an inside joke between me and her, and I started saying stuff mockingly, like ‘Im gonna chirp up in this bitch’ and ‘Im chirping in the trap.’ Then it turned into us creating comics back and forth called “The Adventures of Chirp and Trap”. Everyday one of us would draw a comic, and the other would continue the story. Chirp was a bird who usually wore either a cowboy hat or a Rambo outfit, and Trap was a bird in a cage. I think we still have them somewhere, but one of the funniest ones was Chirp having to rescue Trap from a Dothraki horde.” –Treegs

Every year, my mom makes this cookie cake with chocolate and strawberries and it’s the best thing ever. That’s the only ‘gift’ I’ve ever gotten for Valentine’s day (so far) Edit: forgot to take a picture of the first one but luckily she made an extra mini one this year. This is the first time she’s added the white chocolate, and it’s usually in the shape of a heart, but here it is.” –Zaquarius_Alfonzo

“Not a gf, but one time my parents bought me a box of slim jims as a kid and it lasted me until May. Was great.

I’ll marry the next woman who buys me a big ass box of slim jims.” –

SleeplessShitposter

“My parents would get me valentines day presents all the time! One year was a restaurant sized tub of ketchup (since I really loved ketchup at the time). It was both useful and fun! Though we threw it out before I finished it off, because the bottom of the tub was beginning to be a bit… off.

I’ve never gotten anything for valentines day not from my parents.” –

FlameFrenzy

“A letter telling me all that she loves about me and how I treat her. It was the best. Her birthday was a couple of days after so it was very hard making her feel loved and appreciated like I felt when I gave her a shitty valentines gift.

The second best has to be nothing (different partner). Literal nothing. I bought her some of her favorite candy. But it was great because it really showed how our relationship was and I knew she wasn’t the right one for me and I wasn’t the one for her. She dumped me a couple days later. Couldn’t say I was surprised.” –cbarnes15

“one year a girl i was dating just sent me a big long message basically a letter telling me she wished she could be there with me (long distance relationship) and i was going through a rough patch and really drove home how much she cared about me and it was really beautiful, she was really good at making me feel special. i tried to do the same but i guess im just not good at it, i mailed her a letter i had written with her favorite candy but yeah the relationship eventually fell apart and i feel bad i couldn’t get across how strongly i felt about her.” –alchupanebra

“I got a steak, bourbon, a jump rope, and a bag of dorotos. I gave her a “sexy/naughty” calendar of me doing household chores wearing only an apron, a week of nightly foot rubs, I made her cinnamon rolls from scratch, and I hid 50 Ferrero Rocher around the house.” –Raininglemur

“I made a friend of mine who is a single woman a computer “game” that turned her xbox controller into a vibrator. I included all sorts of preset patterns too so that with button presses or voice commands you could change it up.” –

Aazadan

“I feel like I’m the only one who likes to give foot rubs. I think it’s a good work out for my grip strength and ladies love em. Like just ask and I’ll gladly give one. My ex didn’t like her feet touched though so I rarely gave them.” –drsquires

It was junior year and my psychology class was doing a secret Santa type thing but for Valentine’s Day since we were close. I got a girl who I was fine with giving a gift to. Drew her a nice rose, wrote something cute and gave her chocolates, not a lot. What I got from another girl was pretty impressive. I got a nice handwritten card, a jar of kisses, and a bunch of candy put into a cute bag. Now, I was antisocial af and this was completely unexpected. I was expecting her to give me like a chocolate bar or something but nah, she gave me the entire bag! Such a friendly girl, wish her the best in her college life now.

I also got a valentines gram which had chocolates sent to me anonymously but I already knew it was this one girl a grade above me that sent it. Weird cause I’m usually the one that never gets shit.” –Reddit User 

“When I was in high school from my first serious girlfriend. My first valentine’s day in a relationship. We had been dating about five months at the time.

I ask her what she wants for valentine’s day. She says she doesn’t want anything, just a dinner with me (I already had reservations). I ask her again, incredulously, “you don’t want anything, not even flowers?”

“No, I don’t want anything.”

“Are you sure? No flowers?”

“I’m sure.”

“No flowers?”

Don’t get me flowers.”

So… I don’t get her anything except chocolate and a dinner reservation. Definitely no flowers.

At the end of the day, she is upset she hasn’t gotten any flowers delivered. I tell her that I didn’t get her any, she told me not to. She cries, and tells me not to talk to her. Refuses to answer my calls. We don’t go out to dinner, and I spend valentine’s day alone.

My gift? One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned – don’t take women literally, it’s a trap.

Just buy the damn flowers.” – SadClownInIronLung

“My sophomore year of high school some girl who I really hadn’t thought much of gave me a card that read “To: Cute boy, you have a really nice smile”. We hung out a bit after that but things didn’t go to great (long story). Anyways that one valentine started a chain reaction that ended some serious depression I had and now I smile more often.” –supeguy212

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Black Women Are Talking About The Stereotypes That Plague Them

Fierce

Black Women Are Talking About The Stereotypes That Plague Them

Doubly marginalized by their race and gender, Black women face so much of their lives combatting the stereotypes that anguish them. Worse, on a daily basis Black women are forced to find ways to thrive and succeed in their lives and careers by white-washing and invalidating their own identities.

Recently, women on Reddit shared the stereotypes that afflict them and it was pretty eye-opening.

Check this out below!

“The stereotype that our entire being is sassy and ghetto. Recently, I was at a friends for game night, we were playing Uno. I simply but jokingly was like “girl don’t look at my cards” and her entire family mimicked me but made it way more than it was like i had said “GURRRLLL DONT YOU BE LOOKIN AT MY CARDS” when that’s not how i said it… at all.” –y0aujani

“I hate the stereotype that we must want to be White if we don’t fit within the clearly defined list of actions and beliefs that society says black women are supposed to be (this stereotype is usually coming from other black people, which makes it sadder).

Oh look! That black woman dyed her hair a color that isn’t typically associated with black people. She clearly wishes she was White!

Oh my GOD. That black woman is dating a White guy. Doesn’t she know that she’s supposed to save herself for a black man?? She clearly wishes she was White.

Good Lord. That black woman likes country line dancing! This is humanity’s worst affront to nature! She clearly wishes she was White!

And so on. I mean, I get that “black” isn’t merely a skin color, it’s a culture. Doing things outside the customs of the culture can make it seem that we are ashamed of said culture. If I don’t like soul food, you can kind of see how that may come across as me looking down my nose at my own culture. But there has to be some kind of limit, where we can like different things and simultaneously have respect for our roots.

Do other cultures go through this? If a Scottish person doesn’t like haggis, are they given shit for not being ‘Scottish enough’?” –VintagePoet82

“My last name is Italian. I know this doesn’t come close to the crap you have to deal with on a daily basis, but admitting I don’t like tomatoes is usually met with “how do you call yourself an Italian?!” …Because that’s where my great grandfather is from?

My family still practices some cultural traditions that celebrate our heritage, but I HATE the idea of baskets delineated by racial stereotypes. People don’t fit in boxes. I’m not trying to be Jewish when I attend Hanukkah parties, I’m not trying to be Cuban when I dance salsa, I’m not trying to be Black when I braid my hair, I’m not trying to be white when I go skiing. I’m just trying to enjoy time with the people I love, and also manage these damn curls, wherever they came from.” C0USC0US

“This doesn’t happen since I moved, but happened a lot when I was a teen/young adult growing up in rural Pennsylvania. (By the way, on balance it’s a wonderful place. Like any rural area, you sometimes wish the people there were more worldly and educated than they are, but I still love Pennsyltucky.)

Anyhow, often times when it came up that I was (and still am) a huge hip-hop fan, someone would inevitably bring up that I was, ‘trying to be black.’ Or they would use an extremely derogatory slang word for a white person who is ‘acting black’ that I’m not going to repeat here.”- Langosta_9er

“I think that everyone in the world feels pressure to let go of their culture and fall into line with the Post-ww2 American consumerist canon. So the people remaining that wish to remain tied to their culture demonize those who embrace change (I’m not saying that the change is positive though).

In my case as an Indian you get pressure from both sides, if you’re too Indian you’re considered a luddite and might be given shit for not assimilating enough, but you might also get shit for not knowing some random shit about your culture depending on who you talk to. That’s just with 2nd gen immigrants though, it seems like 3rd gen are completely assimilated with just physical differences while 1st gen tend to go too much to the other side.

With black people there seems to be a movement for black pride and preserving the culture you’ve developed in spite of the constant pressure from the media and other white people to mix and assimilate into the new “neutral culture” and any form of “giving into that is seen as betrayal.

I used to be more towards assimilating and even wanting to be with white girls to “dilute my Indian genes” but now I’m starting to see how much I dislike the blandness of the “American” culture and part of me doesn’t want to assimilate as much anymore.

Do other cultures go through this? If a Scottish person doesn’t like haggis, are they given shit for not being “Scottish enough”?

I guess that’s where the “No true Scotsman” fallacy comes from.”- RagingSatyr

Had one dude claim I was rolling my eyes any time I looked at him. I’m very quiet by nature, and extra careful with my words and tone. We can literally not do a damn thing, have no reaction, but will still get accused of having a bad attitude. We are often just fucked, no matter what.” –Kemokiro

When you’re a black woman, you have to be strong, Super fucking Woman all the time but if you stand up for yourself, you’re an ‘angry black woman.’ But if you don’t uphold to strong stereotype and you any emotion other than strength like sadness, you’re weak and a black bitch with an attitude.” –beatlegirl95

“Idk where it was but awhile ago there was some post and in the picture there was a naked black girl and you could see her pubic mound (thehehe the phrase) . Comments starting pouring in like “omg wtf is that” “wow it’s just like a black hole isn’t it” “someone needs to get skin toner” so on and so forth. The only thing that gave me some hope is the highly upvoted comment along the lines of ‘ITT men and women who have never fucked or seen a black women naked’ Then it dawned on me; are black women so undesirable that a community, like Reddit ,that is seemingly obsessed with porn hasn’t even seen a black women naked, or is it just another way to put down women.” – mongoosedog12

“the angry black woman stereotype is by far the worst. you can never win with it i see people trashing black women and if i try to stand up for myself and other blacks people they claim i’m proving them right by having an attitude? i’ve literally seen where girls and latina girls act in the exact same manner, say the exact same thing and they are deemed as sexy while the black woman is ghetto and trashy.

people will legit interpret your actions to fit this stereotype like i’m an introverted person and people have said i was a bitch because i didn’t talk to them when another girl can do that and she’s just shy.

on multiple occasions i’ve looked in the general direction of an interracial couple (black man and other woman) and people said i was giving them dirty looks when i really do not care!

i also just hate the cognitive dissonance when it comes to the same thing with black men. most people would agree that it’s racist to generalize all black men saying they are all dead beat fathers, criminals, violent, etc but people seem to think it’s just a perfectly valid opinion to negatively generalize all black women. and it’s the worst when it comes from black men.” –woahwoahwoahwoa

“The fact that we are supposed to speak and act a certain way. The amount of times I’ve been called oreo just for the way I speak is disheartening. No, I’m not white on the inside thanks.” –moonscry

“What’s really annoying is when it comes from other black people. I had a cousin once say that I was so “white” that if I married a black man, my kids would come out biracial. These days, I try to treat it as a running joke because I see absolutely no reason to change myself to fit what “black” is supposed to be. I love Star Wars and video games and reading books by 19th century British women and dislike most rap music and I speak like any other educated person from the suburbs. This is who I am and people who believe that these things make me less black are the ones who have the problem.” –kaitco

“we can’t be beautiful.” –ajarndaniel

“When I was really new to dating and desperate for love/attention/a bf, I ended up ‘dating’ this white guy… He would mention how he watches a lot of interracial porn and how his ultimate fantasy was to rent a plantation in Georgia and for me to be his sex slave…. I wish I was kidding.” –Stitch_Rose

“The worst thing I’ve had is being told I’m “too white” cos of how I talk. I grew up in a mainly white area and had more contact with my white side of the family (although my black family aren’t stereotypically black anyway), so why would I? Why must anyone with black in them be stereotypically black, am I not just as much white as I am black?”- RJturtle

“Dehumanization. If they don’t look at you with the empathy to acknowledge your humanity, they can justify anything that is done to you.

I suppose that’s a black problem to have in general, but it hits women hard too.” –AliceHouse

“I’m angry. I’m sassy. I’m ghetto. I could be a thief. I’m loud. I’m unintelligent. I’m close minded. I’m spiritual. I’m “manly”.

The only one that’s true for me is that I’m loud lol. And my GOD I hate the, “Wow! You speak very nice. You’re eloquent”. That’s a backhanded compliment; they expected me to sound a certain way JUST because I’m black. =A=; The fuck dude.”- FantasticHamburguesa

“I’m not sure I can pinpoint this to a specific stereotype, but when interacting with my customers, I’m questioned a lot more than my white or male coworkers. I often have to take male coworkers with me to deal with belligerent restaurant owners who just will not listen to me. It’s the racism+sexism combo, and it sucks. I’m not dumb because I’m black. I’m not dumb because I’m a woman.

When customers talk back or are rude, I have to try extra hard to be nice to them because they’re more likely to report be for being rude and hostile. It’s just their perception and it sucks so much. Edit: Remembered another one! My baby sister was born when I was 12 going on 13. I developed early and this lady in Kohl’s cooed at my sister, which scared her, causing her to reach for me. The lady said ‘Aw look, she just wants her mommy’ and I was like… what? Who? Me? I’m 13. There’s a comic strip that shows the difference in how white and black women are treated, I wish I could find it.

It also had a panel about how it’s assumed black people go to college because we’re simply minorities and filling up seats. Nope, I earned my $22k/year scholarship, thanks.” –TheYellowRose

Parallax92

“You speak so well…”

“You have such a normal name”

“You’re not like one of THOSE black people”

“YOU play guitar?”

“Oh wow, I didn’t know black people like that kind of music”

“Oh your parents are still married?”

“You’re pretty for a black girl” –3 years ago

“I hate the stereotypical backhanded comments. The “You speak so well, where did you grow up?/ You talk white”, the “You’re so pretty for a black girl,” or the worst one “It’s okay, you’re not really black though.”

First of all, I don’t remember there being official perimeters for being black and if there are, I sure didn’t get the memo. Just because I’m not generally outspoken, I like nerdy/geeky shit, and I have a white fiancé does not mean in any way I’m less black.

I also really hate it because not only does that comment imply to be black is something to be ashamed of or something lesser, it also negates all the bullshit I’ve have to deal with on a daily basis. Like oh, well you don’t see me as “black” but the store attendant that followed me through the entire Sprint store because he assumed I was there to steal something sure thought I was black enough.

I hate that I can’t fight back against any of these comments because I’ll be labeled an “angry black woman”. Nothing is more frustrating than to have legitimate reasons to be upset but if your octave goes up even a little, everything you say is invalidated because you’re just “an angry black woman complaining about everything.” –Slightlydazed49

That I’m poor because I live on the south side of Chicago. I’m not smart & I look like I have a bad attitude/mean.

What’s so funny is, I was at a Walmart in Iowa, I was talking about all the places I’ve been to over the last 10 years and I was talking on the phone with my mom. Some white lady just kept looking at me in shock like….WOW. Then when I mentioned to having family in Toronto, Canada, her eyes got big as hell. Again, at Walmart, white woman clutching her purse….I go to pull out my wallet, just to fuck with her, , (oh and in my wallet, I have many credit cards, one of them is a beautiful platinum discover card), anyway she was looking shocked, like how did she get that.” –imtherealistonhere

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