For generations, people across the world have followed eccentric traditions on December 31st to ensure the new year brings them good fortune.
Some wear red underwear in hopes of finding love; others sweep their houses to get rid of bad vibes. These superstitions can be traced back to various cultural practices– mostly rooted in Spain and Latin America.
We asked our Facebook community (with the help from Boyle Heights) what their New Year’s Eve traditions were. Although Boyle Heights is now a mostly Latino community, it’s undeniable the cultures that once made a big part of the community can still be seen today. Here are some of your responses:
Eat 12 grapes at midnight
- Eat a dozen grapes, right before the new year-One grape for each month of the year. This will bring you luck with money. – Carlos Chavarin and Sheila Sasha Wombat
- For every grape you eat, make a wish. ”“ Abigail Carranza
Money in your pockets
- Put change in your pockets and jump around making noise at midnight to make sure you have money in your pockets all year. – Jorge Cotero
Wear colored underwear
- Wear red underwear for luck with your love life. – Abigail Carranza
Oranges by the window
- Place oranges/tangerines in the corners of your window sill. They will absorb all the bad vibes that try to enter your home. Leave them there until they dry up. – Sara Olivia Lopez
Grab those suitcases
- Grab some suitcases and run up and down the street for travel. – Kat Barrera
- Place suitcases by your door to ensure travels. -Abigail Rod
Eat buckwheat and mochi
- Eat buckwheat “toshikomi” noodles on New Years Eve and mochi in “ozoni” soup first thing the next morning. These Japanese American traditions celebrate good health and prosperity in the upcoming year. Toshikomi specifically is eaten for a long life. -Patricia Wakida
Buckets full of water
- Throw a bucket full of water out your front door to washaway bad vibes. -Ana Martinez
Bring out the broom
- Sweep your house to get rid of bad vibes. -Abigail Rod
How will you ring in the new year?