Latino culture means wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve to guarantee a lover in the new year, or maybe yellow underwear to attract that dinero. Latinos have more than a few tricks and traditions that help secure a happy, successful, and prosperous new year. Most of us have been guilty of trying them, or at the very least we’ve watched our crazy tías go through with more than a few of these. Read along for some very strange New Years Ever superstitions that guarantee and happy and prosperous New Year.
Sweeping away ‘malas vibras’ to make the new year victorious.
Sweeping with the broom towards the door is a symbolic way of sweeping out the bad vibes of the past year. Expel those malas vibras and negativity and get the broom ready.
New red/yellow underwear for love and wealth.
Wearing brand new undies is a muston New Year’s Eve. If you wear red, the gods of new year’s superstitions will send a new lover your way. If you wear yellow, you’ll attract a lot of dinero and lots of work.
Open your doors and windows.
Make sure that when the new year hits, your doors and windows are all kept open. This is, both literally and figuratively, meant to open doors in your life and fill you with new and fresh opportunities in the year to come.
Walk out of the door with your right foot.
Credit: Lacey Raper / Unsplash
No, but really. People actually do this. Just as the clock strikes midnight, you have to walk out of your home and re-enter, right foot first. That way you’ll start the year on the right foot!
Dance around a tree.
Okay, this one sounds a little insane, but hey, they’re ancient superstitions. It’s believed that dancing around a tree during the transition from one year to the next, will bring good luck and prosperity.
Twelve grapes in your champagne.
This is a very Spanish tradition that many Latinos have inherited through generations. From Mexico to Portugal and so many other countries, it’s customary to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Each grape symbolizes a month of the year and the possibility of good things happening. Make a wish with every grape you eat and your year will be off to a good start.
Fridge and wallets full to the brim.
Fill up your wallet with cash, and stock up your fridge and pantry. If you start off the year with abundance, you’ll definitely end it that way, or so says the tradition, idk.
Put a gold ring in your champagne.
Putting a gold ring in your glass of champagne and letting it sit there while you toast and drink to the new year to come, is believed to attract money. Just make sure not to swallow it, salud!
Turning on all the lights at home.
Obviously, only do this for a few minutes. Like our parents, we’re not trying to rack up a huge electricity bill. Light up your house, making sure that no corner is left ‘in the dark’, this is meant to ensure a year of brightness and ‘light’.
Leave a suitcase by the door or walk it around the block.
If you do this your new year will be full of trips and travels. Who doesn’t want to set off on new adventures around the world next year?
Get up and down with each ‘campanada’.
Credit: Joshua Rawson-Harris / Unsplash
As soon as people start counting down the last ten seconds of the year, you’ll be getting up and down from your seat with every tick of the clock. Not only is this a little bit of a workout, this is meant to attract new, healthy relationships.
Write your wishes on a piece of paper.
Before the nochevieja dinner, you’re supposed to write down all of your wishes and goals for the new year in a little piece of paper. Then, during dinner, keep it close to you so that it absorbs your energy and when the time comes to ring in the New Year, burn the piece of paper with the conviction that everything you wrote on it will come true. You’re welcome.
Start the year at the beach.
Many people head to the beach to receive the new year in the ocean. It’s believed that if you go for a swim at midnight, all the bad vibes, bad juju, and negativity will get washed away and offered to the sea. This way you’ll start the new year with a clean slate.
Make lots of noise.
Credit: Much / Giphy
Some believe that if you greet the new year with a lot of noise and escandalo, the bad spirits and vibes will be scared off. So go scare that mal de ojo away this New Year’s Eve.
When I was 25 years old, I went through a terrible quarter-life crisis. It was right in the middle of the recession and I had been job hunting for two years while trying to advance my career. Nothing was working, and I was terribly frustrated, angry, and lost. It was a pretty stereotypical tale, I know, but it felt like my world was crashing down at the time.
Of course, eventually, I learned to keep going, changed some things about my life (like dumping a bad boyfriend and moving from a job I was “meh” on to a job I loved), and my life improved. However, as I continued to age and turned 30 a couple of years ago, I realized that there are so many life lessons that I really wish I had been able to share with my younger self. From making sure I always get good sleep to knowing when to let go of friendships to going to therapy, here are the 25 things that I wish I could have said to my 25-year-old self now that I’m over 30. I may not have it all figured out yet, but at least I figured out a few things.
1. “Yes, you should throw yourself a doble quince when you turn 30.”
When I was 15 years old, my family didn’t have a lot of money so throwing a quinceañera was not even a consideration. So, instead, I had a small Sweet 16 and left it at that. However, around 25, I started to seriously regret my decision —and wish I had heard of a doble quince sooner. Thankfully, it’s never too late and I had my doble quince at 30 after all. I’ve even heard of someone doing a triple quince (at 45!) which, I have to admit, sounds very enticing.
2. “Mami is never going to stop calling and texting you daily, so stop being annoyed by it.”
When I was in college, it was a family rule that I had to call my parents daily to let them know I was okay. They were helping to pay for my pricey university, so I figured it was only fair. Of course, this all continued after I graduated and became an actual independent adult. But the phone calls and daily texts never stopped. Sometimes, I still get annoyed by it but, to be honest, I’ve come to appreciate it too. Mami won’t be around forever, and I know this is just her showing me how much she cares.
3. “It’s not true what they say: You really CAN come home again.”
This is something that I heard a lot in my youth, but I am happy to tell you that it’s just not true. When I was 25 years old, I couldn’t imagine going back to my hometown. Then, a month after I turned 30, I happily returned home to take a breather from life in the big city and overhaul my career to be a full-time freelancer. It was scary, but also the best decision I ever made. Coming home was difficult, sure, but I wish I had known sooner that it was still an option.
4. “Please, please, please stop conveniently forgetting to bring your sunscreen to the beach.”
Okay, I admit that this is still a bit of an issue for me. After all, who doesn’t want that legendary JLo glow?! But the truth is that Jennifer Lopez doesn’t get that glow from the sun, but rather from beauty products. The woman just doesn’t risk skin cancer and, seriously, why are we doing that to ourselves by heading to the beach without sunscreen in our chic bags? This HAS to stop.
5. “Don’t forget to dream big… but don’t forget to relax and enjoy life, too.”
When I was 25 years old, I was working hard to grow my career. At the time, I was switching from one job to another and ended up spending the next few years jumping from job to job in order to advance my skills. Although I don’t necessarily regret all of that, what I do regret is not taking a break. I needed to work fewer weekends, and spend more time with those I love. If only I could have that time back now, I would do things a bit differently for sure.
6. “The quarter-life crisis is real, but there’s no perfect age to have it all figured out.”
At 25 years old, many of us had the so-called quarter-life crisis when we freaked out about not having it all figured out. I definitely felt like I was a failure (not true), that my career was stalled (not true either), and that I had no clue what I was doing (kinda true). What I’ve learned since, though, is that there is no age at which we think we have everything figured out. We’re always growing and changing, and the sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.
7. “Get good sleep, get good sleep, GET GOOD SLEEP.”
Having recently read and loved the book Why We Sleep, I cannot even begin to tell you all of the important things that sleep does for us humans but just assume that it’s basically everything. A lesson that I wish I knew in my early 20s (and all through high school, to be honest) is that prioritizing sleep will give me more energy, make me more creative, a better employee, a calmer and happier person, and keep me healthy. If you’re not getting 7-9 hours every single night, then you’re doing life wrong.
8. “Learn how to budget. You’ll thank me later.”
Look, nobody likes budgeting but we all have to learn it eventually. I spent much of my 20s not really understanding how budgeting works and, thus, living beyond my means. I had credit cards and abused them more than I care to admit. Thankfully, I eventually got my financial life in order but I definitely wish I had done it much sooner since the bad credit (from months when I couldn’t pay even my minimum on some cards) is still hurting me.
9. “It’s better to start that crazy, intense project than to keep dreaming for the next 5 years.”
Shortly before I turned 25 years old, I got an idea for a book. Now, seven years later, I am still working on that book. Granted, I didn’t actually start it until a couple years ago and I didn’t fully take it seriously until last year. It is a big undertaking but I let my dream just sit there for years because I was too afraid to even try. Now I realize what a disservice that was since if I had started it back when I first got this idea, I would have definitely finished it by now and moved on to the next one.
10. “Nurture your important friendships, but don’t be afraid to let others go.”
I love my friends and I do my best to keep in touch with them, especially now that most of us live in different cities. From texting to monthly FaceTime dates to simply liking each other’s stuff on Instagram, there are a plethora of options for connecting these days. But I’ve also realized that there are some friends who don’t put in the effort to keep in touch with you, so I have learned to let go of those friendships. Sure, it’s heartbreaking, but friendship only works if you are both into it.
11. “Go to therapy. NOW. Please! Do not wait.”
I’ve been in therapy for about two years now and boy oh boy do I wish I had done this sooner. Although I’ve made some serious progress, I also know that there are still plenty of things that I am figuring out, both on my own and with my therapist. We as Latinos rarely take care of our mental health because it’s just so shameful to talk about it in our communities, which is why I didn’t do this sooner. I wish I had.
12. “While we’re on this, also start getting regular check-ups and not just OB-GYN.”
After I started going to therapy, someone wisely told me that we should all be going to a mental health professional at least once a year for a check-up, just as with other doctors. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t had a regular check-up in almost four years, other than my annual visit to the gynecologist. This is actually common for women, so I finally made a commitment to get everything checked out. I was 31 at the time and, although I was in mostly good health, there were definitely a few things that I should have gotten taken care of years ago.
13. “Start contributing to your 401k, even if you haven’t quite figured out what that is exactly.”
Putting money into savings has always been a problem for me, and it’s no easier now that I have started to seriously think about retirement. Retirement planning is not a simple conversation to have and, if I were really honest with you, I would tell you that I am doing the bare minimum. However, putting into a 401k (if your company offers it) is basically free money. If they don’t, then start researching other options. You don’t have to know everything to get started, but the sooner you start, the more money you’ll have when you retire.
14. “Stop dating the bad boys, and start giving the nice guys a chance.”
This was a lesson that I truly wish I had learned when I was 25 years old, when I dated the worst of the bad boys I went through. Although that relationship ended a few months later, it was still many years before I finally figured out that nice guys do NOT finish last (and I have the awesome husband to prove it now). In fact, nice guys (and gals) make excellent, loving, amazing, caring, supportive partners — and as an independent woman, I want someone who could be as great as I knew myself to be.
15. “Don’t let the fear of disappointing papi keep you from doing what you really love.”
Like many Latinos, and immigrants like myself in particular, I felt great pressure form my family to be successful. I did well in school, attended a good college, and started a career that my papi doesn’t really approve of and doesn’t really understand. He wants to see me be a success, but more on his own terms as a lawyer or a doctor. That’s not for me, but I had many doubts in my 20s about whether I was doing the right thing by chasing doing what I love instead of going with the more secure thing. I’d like to tell my younger self that doing what you love is really, truly worth it.
16. “Happiness is a choice. Work on it, and own it.”
Anyone who tells you that they’re deeply unhappy is either clinically depressed (and should likely see a medical professional) or hasn’t yet realized that happiness IS actually something that you can work on. There have been many studies done about this and, in particular, how the happiest people are those that have a lot of gratitude. It may sound hokey, but keeping a gratitude journal has been a really positive change in my life, and I really wish I would have done it during my rough 20s.
17. “Create something that matters: A podcast, a book, anything!”
This is something that I know a lot of us millennials feel: A desire to create something that matters. I don’t mean a legacy in the traditional sense, but so many of us have a need to do something creative or important to us. If I could speak to my 25-year-old self, I would tell her to take a chance and write that book she wants to write or start the podcast she’s been thinking about. The sooner you take chances, the more you will learn.
18. “Speak up for what you believe in, ALWAYS.”
Although I was generally a pretty outspoken kid and young adult, I really wish I had done more in my 20s to conquer my fears and speak out for the things that I believe in. Considering what is happening in today’s political climate, I also wish that I had taken more time to volunteer for worthy causes when I could have instead of just spending my 20s stressing about my own damn self and my career. These days, I try to do what I can for immigrant rights, women’s right, LGBTQ+ rights, and more. If only I learned this lesson sooner.
19. “Meet people of other cultures. Travel. Make friends. Move somewhere else.”
There’s something truly special about going to a new country and making friends with someone completely unexpected. Unfortunately, I squandered most of the money I made in my 20s on necessities like food and rent (which are worth it) and things I now regret (like going out too much and buying clothes I can’t afford). Instead, I would tell my younger self to travel more, make friends everywhere in the world and, maybe, even consider moving somewhere else in the world for a while.
20. “Stop complaining about that bad boss and update your resume ASAP.”
My first job was a great experience but, ultimately, I didn’t love my boss. It’s not that he wasn’t a good person, but that we just didn’t work well together as a team. I wish that I had known what I know now about what it takes to be happy at work. I would have instead put all of my energy into finding a better working environment. These days, if someone tells me that they hate their job, I say: So have you updated your resume yet?
21. “Figure out your talents, and invest in yourself. Never stop growing.”
Often, we graduate from college and think that’s it. We’ve put in the work to learn and that’s all there is to it. Now we can go out into the world to work and live successful lives… but if you think you have stopped growing and learning after college, then you are seriously mistaken. Learning and growing as a person should be a lifelong process. These days I pride myself on investing some of the money I make from working into developing other talents and interests I have, like learning a new language or a new skill like video editing. It’s never too late to learn, and it’s always a good idea to keep doing it.
22. “The most successful people aren’t afraid of failure. They’re afraid to never try.”
This piece of advice comes directly from a friend of mine who graduated with her MBA from a top university. During her graduation party, she imparted this little piece of advice: Almost none of the businesspeople and entrepreneurs she learned about were a success because their ideas were great, but rather because they kept trying and didn’t take failure personally. Almost nobody makes it on their first try but, with perseverance, you will eventually get there.
23. “Your thighs aren’t going anywhere, so you might as well start loving them now.”
I still struggle with this one a little bit because I simply do not love the way my thighs look. Growing up, I was a chubby kid that eventually grew into an overweight and ultimately morbidly obese adult. Although I am happy with where I am now, loving my body is still a lesson that I learn and relearn every day. I really wish I had known this at 25 though when I was way too harsh on myself and never appreciated the things that ARE actually positive about my body.
24. “Be kind, even when you’re having a bad day.”
You know how they say that a smile is contagious? Well, being a grumpy SOB is pretty contagious too. I experienced this personally when a coworker’s attitude spread from them to me to my boyfriend later that day. This cycle is a negative one, and it’s one that I have since tried to stay away from. Instead, I smile and attempt to be kind everywhere I go. Sure, it’s difficult to be kind to people I sincerely disagree with (like Trump supporters), but I still try — if not for their sake, then at least for my own.
25. “Life never ever stops changing so embrace that NOW and stop stressing.”
When I was 25, I really, really wanted to have life figured out. After all, that’s what the quarter-life crisis is all about, right? You’re a few years out of school and desperately wanting to be “on the right track.” Well, here’s some bad and good news: There IS no right track. It simply doesn’t exist. We can decide to do something today, and change our minds tomorrow. You can try something and fail, and do something else and succeed. There are no guarantees in life, but that’s what makes it pretty amazing too. It never stops changing, so embrace the change and go into it with your head held high.
With all the Chinese New Year celebrations we saw this week, we wanted to highlight another Spring New Year party. Based on a very different calendar and with very different traditions; the Purépecha people of Mexico are also celebrating a New Year’s celebration soon. And their traditions hail from a distant past.
Each year, the Purépechas light a fire to celebrate the new year, according to the ancient mesoamerican calendar.
Kurhikuaeri K’uinchekua o año nuevo Purépecha, un acontecimiento que se remonta a épocas prehispánicas cuando se le rendía culto al dios Curicaueri, se celebra en los últimos días de enero y los primeros días de febrero. pic.twitter.com/ldrhznlPSS
Every year, since 1983, the Purépechas of Michoacán celebrate the new year on the nights of the 1st and the 2nd of February. The lighting ceremony of the New Fire, goes back to the pre-Hispanic period.
The Purépechas are descendants of a pre-columbian empire.
Dos autenticas niñas purepechas en la riviera del Lago de Patzcuaro, donde las tradiciones siguen latentes pic.twitter.com/esF4MWni5i
Purépechas today, are concentrated in the northwestern part of the state of Michoacán in Mexico. Their calendar is similar to the Mesoamerican calendar —a system that emerged with the Olmecs, and was passed down to Mayans, Zapotecs and Aztecs.
The most widely known version of the calendar is the Aztec version.
Hoy se cumplen 229 años del descubrimiento del Calendario Azteca📅
La Piedra del Sol fue descubierta hace 229 años, bajo el Zócalo de la Ciudad de México, es considerado probablemente el más importante monumento gráfico de la época prehispánica. 😯 pic.twitter.com/RIoMaaPkVc
The ‘piedra del sol’ is one of the most photographed pieces in the Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City. The use of this calendar was halted in 1521, when the Christian calendar and rituals were implemented by the Spanish.
Like its variants, the Purépecha calendar also consisted of 18 months.
Each month was made up by 20 days, for a total of 360 days in a year. To keep the calendar in alignments with the cycle of the sun, Purépechas would add 5 days periodically —and since they didn’t align with any month, those days were considered ominous.
In 1983, a group of Purépecha intellectuals and community activists reintroduced the use of the old calendar by celebrating its new year.
This date is marked by the night when the constellation of Orion reaches its highest point in the sky. In the past, this meant it was time to make offerings to Kurhíkuaeri, the god of the Sun and of fire. It usually happens on the night of February 1-2.
The Purépecha new year is now celebrated with what is called the New Fire ceremony.
The New Fire ceremony is a Mesoamerican ritual, but originally it was performed once every 52 years, corresponding to the cycle of Pleiades; it was also the day when the civil and ritual calendars coincided.
Today, the New Fire ceremony has been repurposed so that the celebration of the new year can move from town to town in the territory once defined by the Purépecha Empire.
The ritual is carried out in a different town each year. The new village receives the Old Fire from the community that guarded it during the previous year, and lights the New Fire that remains under its protection until it is delivered to the next guardian.
The first time this festivity took place after being reinstated, it was held in Tzintzuntzan.
Since then it has been taking place every year, being an important element for the strengthening and cohesion of the Purépecha people.
The purpose of the festivity, is to keep traditions alive and to rescue cultural elements of the past.
“Even though the New Fire ceremony is the most representative aspect of this indigenous people, it is one of reflection rather than religious or political in nature,” says Patricia Terán Escobar, a researcher at the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH). “Some of the objectives are to rescue the collective memory and all the cultural elements of the past, such as the ancient Purépecha tradition of verbally transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next.”
The Purépecha council, Consejo de Cargueros del Fuego Nuevo Purépecha, approved the request for this year’s host.
This year’s Fuego Nuevo celebration was disputed between the villages of Ario de Rosales, Zacapu, Comanja, Erongarícuaro and Capacuaro. The latter was the winner and will be the bearer of the new fire for 2020. The village of Capacuaro was chosen to honor its over 500 years of history.
Capacuaro is one of the most ancient Purépecha communities.
“It was a necessary stop for tradespeople and travelers who were making the journey between Paracho and Uruapan —a trek that took travelers through the mountains, across the ‘sierra P’urhépecha’, a road that Don Vasco de Quiroga, a famous evangelist, often trekked.