Colombia boasts not only with some of the world’s finest landscapes, biggest biodiversity, spectacular festivals and most fascinating history but also with plenty of superstitious beliefs. No wonder then that particularly New Years’ in Colombia holds plenty of rituals.
Here are 10 popular Colombian New Year’s traditions.
An effigy of the old year is made, usually in the form of a stuffed life-sized doll (photo) – the sillier the better. At midnight the effigy, the old year, is burnt. People write their sins, faults and bad luck on a piece of paper and throw them into the fire, ensuring liberation from past troubles, mistakes and problems.
2. Twelve Grapes
At midnight twelve grapes are put into the mouth, one by one with each gong. Each grape stands for a month of the new year and people make a wish with each grape.
3. Running with a suitcase
This one is particularly popular. It is believed that the new year is filled with travel when running around the house or block with an empty suitcase at midnight.
4. Money matters
To help number 3 come true, a good cash-flow and financial stability may be necessary. So people have some coins in their hand or their pocket when the clock strikes twelve, promising prosperity and financial wealth in the new year.
5. Lucky Lentils
Eating rice with lentils on New Year’s Eve promises a year of abundance and luck!
6. Twelve shafts of wheat
Placing twelve shafts of wheat on the dinner table leads to a good harvest and plenty of food to eat in the coming year.
7. Right foot first
The first step in the New Year (at 0:01) must be made with the right foot to ensure right decisions in the new year.
8. New Years’ Bread
Another neat custom is baking up a special New Year’s bread, which has a coin placed inside it. At midnight the head of the family cuts the bread and distributes it among the family members. Whoever gets the coin has good luck for the entire coming year.
9. Wealthy drink
Similarly to the bread ritual, a piece of jewelry can be put into a glass of champagne to toast to the arrival of the New Year. This ensures wealth and prosperity. (… Given you don’t do this with your fifth glass of champagne forgetting that their is an earring floating in your glass).
10. Yellow underwear
This one can be easily done in addition to all of the above: Wearing yellow underwear on New Year’s eve, particularly midnight, for prosperity and good luck.
Surely, you’ll never get bored on New Year’s ever again – but rather stressed to perform these 10 at once.
Happy New Year from Yopal, Casanare!
See you on the other side –