Latinos can be a superstitious lot. From avoiding your feet getting swept to not putting your purse on the floor, there are so many creencias Latinos grow up hearing. Some of the most popular ones are related to New Year’s Eve — the spiciest superstition involving your underwear. 

Most folks have heard that if you wear red underwear to ring in the new year, you will find love and passion in the upcoming 12 months. Whether they participate in it or not, the underwear superstition isn’t only related to red underwear. 

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In this edition of Fact or Cap, mitú dives into the origins of this cheeky superstition and its validity.

While there isn’t anything concrete detailing the red underwear superstition’s origin, some reports link it to Italy and China

The origins of wearing red underwear as you move into the new year can get a little dicey. It is well documented that the Chinese have always seen red as a lucky color. Trip Savvy explains how the Chinese’s belief in their animal Zodiac has influenced why they may wear red.

Wearing red underwear can be especially important when you encounter ben ming nian. This is when you run into your animal year, per Trip Savvy. So, if you were born in the year of the horse, and the upcoming year is a horse year, ben ming nian is enacted.

Why do you need red undies? The belief is that ben ming nian will be a year “full of bad luck.” Wearing the red underwear is seen as a precaution. In addition to loyalty, red signifies success and happiness for the Chinese.

Babbel adds that this superstition can also be found in Italy. Regardless of the type of underwear you wear, it must be red if you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve in Italy. The Italians believe red underwear will signal success and luck in the coming year.

Red underwear isn’t the only color that this superstition lends itself to — some countries have different meanings associated with different colors

Not everyone wears red underwear. Some people pick blue or green undies as those have different meanings. Sustainable Baddie explains that your year will look different depending on the color you use.

Mental Floss supports this by adding that some South American countries opt for yellow underwear as it welcomes money, happiness and luck. Sustainable Baddie also asserts that yellow represents wealth.

So, what if you wanna wear white, black, orange or purple? White underwear is said to represent things like peace, tranquility and harmony. Black underwear tells the universe you are open to welcoming more power, focus and confidence.

Wearing orange underwear signifies you want to make major career moves in the upcoming year. Artists and creatives should wear purple underwear. It’ll show the forces that be that you want to find new sources of inspiration.

The only key element required across the board is that the underwear must be new and clean, whatever color you wear.

While charming, the superstition tying wearing red underwear to how your year will turn out is… cap

If wearing colored underwear has been a long-held family tradition, then, by all means, continue wearing it. At the very least, this superstition can be a great way to connect with your family. But, like eating the 12 grapes, there is probably not much else to this lore.

Some reports suggest that your clothing color can help you be in tune with your aura. Instyle recommends finding your aura and then matching your clothes to that. Why? To “radiate” positive energy.