Colombia’s Top 10 New Year’s Eve Customs & Traditions

Sunday 20th Dec 2020 |

As the clock strikes 12 on NYE all over the world, many countries celebrate with their own traditions and Columbia is no exception.

Agüeros – which translates in English to – omens, are intended to bring Colombians and their families good things in the coming year.

New Year’s Eve CustomsWearing yellow underwear 

Colombian’s wear a new pair of bright yellow underwear to welcome in the New Year – a Colombian tradition believed to guarantee a year full of love and happiness.

New Year’s Eve Customs Washing in the river 

A special tradition for those in the Valle del Cauca region and the city of Cali sees locals heading to the Pance River in the early morning of 31st December. They bathe in the river washing themselves with soap, ridding the body of any negative energy that may be lurking within.

New Year’s Eve Customs Eating 12 grapes –

As the clock strikes midnight, locals pop a grape in their mouth and make a wish on each chime of the clock. Twelve grapes in as many seconds is no easy task, so careful chewing is advised!

New Year’s Eve Customs Filling pockets with lentils –

Locals ensure their New Year’s Eve outfit has pockets, as stuffing them with lentils is thought to bring a successful year. The variety of lentils doesn’t matter and fortunately dried lentils work best!

New Year’s Eve Customs Suitcase Superstition 

Colombians might be spotted taking a suitcase with them as they run errands on the 31st December, as this is thought to promise a year full of travel. After spending most of 2020 grounded, the superstition is likely to be popular this year! 

New Year’s Eve Customs Cleaning the house on 31st December –

Many of us like to start the New Year with a clean and tidy living space but Colombians take this particularly seriously. Any negative energies and bad memories are swept out of the home before midnight, ensuring there is plenty of space for love and positivity. 

New Year’s Eve Customs Holding on to some cash –

Keeping cash in a pocket on New Year’s Eve is thought to secure a year full of prosperity and financial stability. Hopefully revellers have some pocket space left after filling up with grapes and lentils…

New Year’s Eve Customs Right foot forward –

After the clock has struck midnight, Colombians ensure that the first step they take is with their right foot to guarantee a year filled with good decisions and risks that pay off. The more mischievous may be spotted trying to tactically tip others onto their left foot!

New Year’s Eve Customs Burning the ‘Old Year’ doll at midnight –

Similar to Guy Fawkes, the ‘Old Year’ doll represents the past year and everything Colombians want to leave behind. The life-sized doll is stuffed with fireworks and set on fire at the stroke of midnight, exploding into bright colours and welcoming in all that is new. 

New Year’s Eve Customs Wheat on the table –

Most Colombians spend New Year’s Eve at family dinners and get-togethers as opposed to heading out to clubs and bars, so there is always a table to be decorated. Twelve shafts of wheat typically adorn tables, as this is thought to promise a bountiful year with plenty to eat.

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