Colombians have some awesome traditions for New Years! They call them – agüeros – which translates in English to – omens – and these agüeros are intended to bring Colombians and their families good things in the coming year. Here are 11 Colombian New Years traditions, including my favorite which I'll save for last.
Colombians have some awesome traditions for New Years! They call them – agüeros – which translates in English to – omens – and these agüeros are intended to bring Colombians and their families good things in the coming year. Here are 11 Colombian New Year traditions, including my favorite which I'll save for last.
#1 – Spending New Years With Family
Lots of cultures around the world go out and party on New Years, but Colombians spend new years with family eating a big homecooked dinner at the house and sipping on Aguardiente – which is their traditional alcoholic drink that's made from anise and sugar cane.
#2 – Eating 12 Grapes At Midnight
Supposedly, the tradition of eating 12 is connected to the 12 times the church bells ring at midnight. With each ringing of the bells, you should eat one grape and make a wish for the upcoming year.
#3 Wearing Yellow Underwear To Ring in the New Year
According to Colombians, if you want to have good luck, love, and happiness in the upcoming year you must wear a pair of brand new never before worn yellow underwear on December 31st. Plus, you're supposed to wear that underwear in reverse the entire day, up until midnight when you put them on in the correct direction.
#4 – Cash in Hand at the New Year
Colombians believe that you need to be surrounded by the things you want for the new year – including CASH. So if you're looking for financial security and stability in the upcoming year, then be sure to ring in the new year with some cash in hand – preferably a 50 mil peso which is the largest denomination of currency in Colombia.
#5 – List the Good and Bad in Your Life
Before the clock strikes midnight, Colombians make two separate lists on pieces of paper – one which includes all the good things in their life that they'd like to keep in the new year, and one with all the bad things in their life – which they subsequently burn to symbologize releasing the negative from their lives for the new year.
#6 – Fill Your Pockets with Lentils
That's right – lentils – the bushy annual plant of the legume family. Fill your pockets with lentils or put them in a coin purse and carry them with you all year to ensure a bountiful and abundant new year.
#7 – Clean Your House
Colombians believe that ridding your home of dust and dirt on Dec 31st prevents any bad memories, energies, or negative thoughts from entering the new year with you. This one could also be just a thing that Colombian mothers started years ago to get their kids to clean the house.
#8 – Burning the “Año viejo” Doll
Prior to the new year, Colombians make a life size doll that represents something they want to leave behind from the old year – and then they BURN the dolls at midnight – symbolically burning the old year and all that it represents.
#9 – Put Your Right Foot Forward
And just to clarify – Colombians aren't talking about your “correct” foot – they're talking about your “right” foot as in the opposite of your “left” foot. In order to fill your new year with positive vibes and good decisions, the first step Colombians take after midnight is with their right foot.
#10 – Wheat on the Table
When Colombians dress their table in preparation for the New Year, it’s traditional to make sure that the table is decorated with 12 shafts of wheat. This helps ensure that the New Year will be bountiful with an abundance of food to eat.
#11 – Run Around the Block with Your Suitcase at Midnight
This is my favorite tradition and the one I was sure to participate in. According to Colombians, if you take your suitcase outside with you at midnight, and run around the block with it, you will be assured lots of traveling in the new year.
When I found out about this tradition, I was definitely in, because like you, I hope to have a new year filled with exciting world travels. And I can't wait to share that year with you!