Things That Matter

How Many of These International New Year’s Eve Customs Will You Try When You Ring In 2020?

We are literally days away from the end of 2019 and the close of this decade which calls for a larger than usual New Year’s Eve celebration. So, we’re going global with our festivities and looking at ways the rest of the world celebrates the beginning of a new year. Specifically, we wanted to take a closer look at how the countries of the Latinidad observe the worldwide event that comes on December 31st, 2019. 

From Mexico to Brasil, each place has its own unique customs meant to bring good luck, love, travel and money to the observer in the coming months. Take a peak at how New Year’s Eve traditions are done in Latin American countries and its citizens around the world. 

1. Wearing white.

Instagram / @natalinkax01

The color white has always been associated with a fresh start so what better color to signify the new year. In countries like Brasil, wearing white underwear or dressing completely in white is considered good luck. Wearing white while jumping seven waves in the sea and/or placing flowers into the ocean is also thought to inspire fortune with New Year’s Eve celebrators.

2. Eating lentils.

Instagram / @simmertoslimmer

Many New Year’s Eve traditions focus around food that is meant to give the eater some sort of luck and this one is no exception. In Chile, celebrators eat cooked lentils when the clock strikes midnight in order to ensure a prosperous new year. This custom comes from a Roman tradition. Back in the days of ancient Rome, lentils were thought to look like Roman coins so eating them at New Year’s Eve was believed to offer good financial luck. Our money looks a lot different now but here’s hoping that the magic still works.  

3. Hanging up a toy lamb.

Instagram / @kreativation_net

This adorable tradition finds its origins from a play on words. In Mexico and parts of Latin America, it’s customary to hang up a small wool lamb toy at the front door of one’s home so you’ll be blessed financially all year. Called “borreguitos de lana,” the phrase has a double meaning. “Lana” means “wool” and is also slang for money so hopefully your sheep’s lana will bring you plenty of lana in the new year.

4. Sweeping out the old.

Instagram / @papermoonys

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Out with the old and in with the new?” This actually comes from a New Year’s Eve custom observed by many cultures around the world. For instance, the Danish and Japanese people spend the day cleaning so they can enter the new year with a fresh home and a fresh theoretical state. As such, many Latin American countries practice the same by cleaning their houses and sweeping out the old for a fresh start.

5. Dumping a bucket of water out of the window or door.

Instagram / @cookiehumper

In Cuba, the New Year’s Eve tradition is to dump a bucket of water out of the door or window of your home. However, we aren’t talking about just any bucket of water. Remember that cleaning we mentioned? This water is supposed to represent all the bad energy that has been sent your way over the past year. That energy that you’ve collected and cleaned out of your house is now in that dirty water. What could be more satisfying than throwing it out and being rid of it once and for all?

6. Chilling with the Ancestors in a graveyard

Instagram / @dn_urbex

The Latinidad has many customs related to the celebration of death and this is another beautiful one. In Chile, New Year’s Eve merrymakers spend the night at the graveyards where their loved ones have been laid to rest. They bring candles, music, food, wine and fireworks in order to pay tribute to those who have left and acknowledge the coming years.

7. Hiding money around the home.

Instagram / @what_nasty

You might hide money away from yourself throughout the year but, during New Year’s Eve, Ecuadorians believe hiding it on this day will bring you great prosperity. We guess the real luck here is that whoever gets to find the hidden money, gets to keep it in the end.

8. A snack of 12 grapes.

Instagram / @katecauffiel 

The new year is a good time to make wishes for what you’d like to see happen in the future. In Mexico and in several parts of Latin America, there’s a tradition that involves making a wish for each toll of the clock as it strikes midnight. In order to keep track of the wishes, eat a grape with each desire until you’ve devoured all 12. That way, you’re full of hope and a healthy snack!

9. Take a trip around the block. 

Instagram / @tingmystyle

For some, travel is what they most want out of the next year. Colombians are so eager to make this New Year’s wish happen that they have their own tradition for it. When the clock strikes midnight, they run around the block with an empty suitcase in hopes of a travel-filled year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1swP4DhECE

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

From TV-less Weekdays To Cereal Bowls, People Are Sharing The Strangest House Rules

Culture

From TV-less Weekdays To Cereal Bowls, People Are Sharing The Strangest House Rules

James Leynse / Getty

If you’ve ever spent the night at someone else’s home, you know that there are people in the world who have house rules that can be very different from your own. From rules about drinking all of your milk cereal to not raising the volume of the television to a hearable level, different households have them all. Now, some of these crazy house rules are being shared in the comments section of an AskReddit. Not only are some of the stories and rules shared wild, some are also even a little sickening.

Check them out below!

“I had a friend who instead of washing the dishes after a meal just put them straight back in the cupboard. I thought his parents would freak out but it turns out it was just something they did in their house. Whenever I went over I always made sure to eat beforehand.” Reddit User

“Family who babysat me when I was young had a rule of “no drinking during meals” and I don’t just mean soda, juice or milk, no water until your meal is done. This was insane to me because we would be called in to supper/lunch after playing outside in the summer and weren’t allowed to drink anything until we sat down and finished our plates. Also, this rule didn’t apply to the father of the family who would often drink beer during meals.

My great-aunt had a parlor room in which all the furniture was covered in plastic and never used, it also had a plastic walkway going through the middle (just a strip of plastic cover) which was the only path you could walk on (she would flip out if you touched carpet).” –Random_White_Guy

“I wasn’t allowed to put extra salt on my food, had to be in bed by 8pm (all the way through middle school), and had to ride my bike to school everyday even though my best friends parents offered to take me.” –willwhit87

“No fighting over the heel of the bread. The father once off hand told his oldest children that the heel of a loaf of bread was the best and made them want it instead of the regular pieces. By the time there were 4 kids sometimes fist fights would break out over the heels. Loaves had been opened on both sides, or loaves were a mess because someone reached through the sack and pulled the back heel out. For a while there was a turn system where the heels were promised to a child for each loaf, but that fell apart when one went to summer camp and lost their turn. One time my friend wasted an afternoon waiting for his mother to come home with a fresh loaf of bread instead of going out and playing. I witnessed fist fights over the bread most people throw away.” –DarrenEdwards

“In college I had a friend that lived with his grandparents when he went to school. Before they’d let him leave the house his grandmother would say ‘nothing good happens after midnight’ and he would have to repeat it. If I was there, I would also have to repeat the phrase.” –iownalaptop

“I slept over a friends house in grade school one time. He prepared us a bowl of cereal the next morning for breakfast. Not thinking ANYTHING of my behavior, I didn’t finish the milk. I just never used to. I don’t know.

He was like “You uh…gonna finish that?”

“Uhhh oh…I uh…I don’t think so? Does that matter?”

He panicked. Absolutely panicked. I think he put it down the toilet before his parents came back into the room.

I don’t know what the rule was, exactly, but FINISH YOUR MILK OR DIE would be my guess based on his reaction. I still feel bad about it. I was like 8 and didn’t think.” –soomuchcoffee

“When I was a kid. I spent the night at one of my friends house. And you were allowed to drink a soda like sprite before bed. But you had to stir it till all the carbonation was gone.. Don’t ask me why…” –newvictim

“I had a friend in middle school, and his dad worked for Pepsi. No one was allowed to bring any Coke products into the house. The first time I went there his mom told me I could not come in the house because I had a Dr. Pepper. I thought she was joking and tried to walk in, but stopped me and said that if I don’t throw that in the garbage outside that I would have to leave. They were fucking serious about that shit.” – SlowRunner

“During college years, I used to visit my friend during summer months at his parents’ house, where he lived at that time. They had two odd “house rules” I’ll never forget:

  1. We couldn’t open any window in the house (even the bathroom window) – ever! Even if it was far cooler outside than inside during the summer.
  2. We weren’t allowed to close our bedroom doors at night, so that his parents’ cat could have free access to all rooms at all times. (This made it difficult to sleep, without a breath of air from the windows, and the cat walking over us in bed while trying to sleep.)” –Back2Bach

“I knew this family that would share the same bathwater as a means to cut down on their water bill. So when one person took a bath, they ALL took a bath that day. The waiting list was about 4-5 people deep. From what I understand, a lot of families do this, however, I just couldn’t see myself washing off in someone else’s soapy leftovers =( If that were the case, I got first dibs on getting in the bathtub first lol”- __femme_fatale__

“My ex’s family would throw all their left over food over their balconey instead of putting in the trash can. I asked them why they did that, they replied it keeps bugs away……..and didnt think rotted food right outside their door would bring bugs.” –PimemtoCheese

“I had a friend whose mom required her to sit on the floor. Never a chair, couch, bed, or other piece of furniture. I went to her house once and sat down on her bed and she flipped out, made me get off it and spent several minutes smoothing the sheets to make it look flat again. I think her mom thought “kids are dirty” but the rule was in place even after bathing and wearing clean.” –knitasha

“Went over to a school-mates’s house for dinner when I was in elementary school…his mom cut everyone’s good into little tiny bites before giving you the plate and only let us eat with a spoon… Her oldest daughter apparently choked on something once when she was a teenager and it became a rule…even on hamburger and hotdog night.” –GRZMNKY

“I was doing a project with a classmate at her house and on our way to her house we stopped at a store and picked up some snacks. We did our schoolwork and then just kind of played and messed around while eating those snacks. Then her mom came home and lost her absolute shit about the snacks. It wasn’t so much that we had eaten them, it was because the snacks had crumbs that had contaminated their otherwise purified home.

My friend had to stop everything and vacuum the entire house to get every crumb of snack, then take the nearly empty vacuum bag, the empty snack bags, and the half-empty but “contaminated” bag of kitchen trash outside and ask one of the neighbors if she could put it in their garbage bin because not a crumb of that kind of food was allowed on the property in any form after sunset. My mom picked me up and as I was leaving they were doing some additional purification ritual and my friend was praying for forgiveness for having potentially defiled their home.

Turns out they were 7th Day Adventist and it was against their code or whatever to have leavened foods in their house/property during a certain period of time? I don’t remember the exact details, but I remember it was a pretty big thing about how every crumb had to be removed from the property ASAP.” – alexa-488

“My neighborhood friend and I would hang out almost every day of the summer. We would go out exploring in the woods with a bunch of our friends and would usually come back all muddy and tired. My friend was very nice and would offer me water and food. His parents would take those away from me if they saw me with them saying they were only for their children. He was always allowed to eat at our house yet I’d have to walk back if they started having any type of meal. The worst though was his next door neighbor who had a daughter our age and when we were hanging out we all got muddy (we were 10) the girls mom proceeded to take her daughter and my friend into her house to clean them up and told me I wasn’t allowed to enter and that I could use the hose. Some people just know how to ruin a kid’s self esteem.” –boomsloth

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

Fierce

Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

BUDA MENDES / GETTY IMAGES

There’s no denying the fact that the female form, and it’s bits, in particular, have inspired artwork the world over. Tarsila do Amaral was inspired by it. Frida Kahlo and artists like Zilia Sánchez and Marta Minujín too. Women’s bodies are inspired and so they inspire. Still, a recent unveiling of vulva artwork has become so controversial and made people so besides themselves that it seems many have forgotten these truths about our bodies.

Over the weekend, Brazilian visual artist Juliana Notari revealed her latest sculptureDiva, on a hillside at Usina del Arte. The art park is located in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco and is described by Notari as “a massive vulva / wound excavation.”

The massive sculpture created on the hillside located in northeastern Brazil features a bright pink vulva and has fueled what is being described as a cultural war.

Notari created Diva, a colorful 108-foot concrete and resin sculpture on the site of a former sugar mill. The mill was converted into an open-air museum in Pernambuco state. Last week, when Notari debuted the installation she revealed it was meant to depict both a vulva and a wound while questioning the relationship between nature and culture in a “phallocentric and anthropocentric society.”

“These issues have become increasingly urgent today,” Notari wrote in a post shared to her Facebook page which was shared alongside a series of photos of the sculpture. According to NBC, it took a team of 20 artisans 11 months to build the entire concept.

No surprise, the piece of art sparked a wave of controversy on social media, with critics and supports debating its message and significance.

Over 25,000 users have commented on Notari’s Facebook post so far including leftists and conservatives. On the far-right, supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have also been vocal about their views of the product.

“With all due respect, I did not like it. Imagine me walking with my young daughters in this park and them asking … Daddy, what is this? What will I answer?” one user wrote in the Facebook section of the post.

“With all due respect, you can teach your daughters not to be ashamed of their own genitals,” a woman replied.

Olavo de Carvalho, an advisor to Bolsonaro, vulgarly criticized the piece on Twitter.

Notari, whose previous work has been displayed at various galleries explained on her Facebook page that she created the piece to comment on gender issues in general.

“In Diva, I use art to dialogue with…gender issues from a female perspective combined with a cosmopocentric and anthropocentric western society,” Notari shared on her post to Facebook. “Currently these issues have become increasingly urgent. After all, it is by changing perspective of our relationship between humans and nonhuman, that will allow us to live longer on that planet and in a less unequal and catastrophic society.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com