As a country with an extremely diverse and rich identity in Latin American culture, Mexico also has very special and unique Tet celebrations. And to know how the New Year of Mexican takes place, let’s find out with We Travel Guides in this article. Compared to other countries in the Americas, the New Year customs of Mexicans are extremely interesting and different when at the end of the year, people here flock to buy red lingerie to wear and give to friends wishing a year of peace, and luck.
New Year’s Eve time for Mexicans
If in some Asian countries celebrate the New year according to the lunar calendar, Westerners welcome the new year according to the solar calendar. And so do Mexicans, they welcome the new year on January 1 every year. On the holidays, government offices, banks as well as some shops here will stop working. However, archaeological sites, tourist sites, and museums are still open to welcome visitors to visit.
More specifically, the Mexican New Year and Christmas take place together, if Christmas in many other places takes place from December 25 and ends on New Year’s Day; In Mexico, people continue to celebrate Christmas with the first day of the year from December 3 to February 2 next year. And if in other countries it is believed that Santa Claus makes children’s dreams come true, in Mexico Santa Claus will be replaced by 3 kings named Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar, respectively. January 6 in Mexico is called El Dia de los Reyes, which is the day of these Three Kings. And a few days before that, children in Mexico would write letters to the three kings and say the gifts they wanted to receive were like being confessed to Santa Claus. And on January 6, the kids will receive those Christmas gifts. And on 2/2, that means El Dia de la Candelaria will be called the candle procession. After February 2, the new decorations are removed and the festivities ended.
How do Mexicans prepare for the New Year?
Like many other countries in the world, Mexicans welcome the New Year by renovating and cleaning their homes, washing cars, and bathing. Not only bathing for people but also pets are washed clean to celebrate the coming of the new year. Besides, they will decorate the house beautifully with cheerful colors for a decent house and organize family parties to pray for good luck to the family members. And red is the main color that expresses the desire for happiness, especially in love between couples; yellow is in the hope of getting a promotion in the job; blue is with the desire to improve finances, and white is for good health.
The Mexican New Year’s custom always comes with special dishes such as Pan Dulce sweet bread enjoyed at noon on New Year’s Eve. When making a cake, people will put a lucky coin inside the bread. And when cutting the cake, if a family member’s slice of the cake gets that coin, that person will celebrate a new year with lots of luck and success.
In addition, seedless grapes are also one of the fruits they choose to buy to enjoy on New Year’s Eve. Because according to the custom here, when the clock hits 12 bells on New Year’s Eve, everyone will eat 12 grapes. And the sweet taste of each grape will ensure that every 1 month of the year meets many auspicious, lucky, and smooth. For other dishes that Mexicans prepare during the Tet holiday, Bacalao – dried salted cod, toast, turkey with cider, or hot fruit wine … these dishes will increase diversity for New Year’s party.
How do the Mexicans welcome New Year’s Eve?
After that meal, those who want to join other parties can go to the nightclub. And tourists can go to the street to immerse themselves in extremely vibrant festivals with the people here. In the Mexican capital, there is a big festival to be held around Zocalo – the city’s central square on New Year’s Eve. At this time, visitors will enjoy extremely spectacular fireworks displays or hold brilliant fireworks in their hands and together with the Mexican people chant the slogan “Feliz ano nuevo” – meaning ” Happy New Year”. Firework for the people here is not only to celebrate the new year and it also has another meaning of banishing evil spirits, bringing peace and happiness to everyone, every family.
Besides, Mexicans will open the main door on New Year’s Eve so that the bad things of the old year will go away. Then, they will throw a few coins on the ground and sweep them into the house with the desire to receive more fortune for the family. At the same time, they will also splash a bucket of water outside the window wishing to bring a good start to the new year.
Special customs to welcome good luck in the new year
The Mexican New Year is also quite special and interesting when the unique games are held on the last days of the year as a game of “burning all the bad things”. At this point, the host will ask the guests to come to the house to write down a series of lists, of the unfortunate things they have encountered in the past year. Then, before New Year’s Eve, they will throw the paper in the fireplace and burn it to ashes. Because they think that the bad things of the old year will disappear and give new things and a good start to the new year.
Besides, Mexicans will buy red underwear to wear and give to relatives and friends because the red color means luck in love. Those who want a lot of money will wear yellow underwear or those who wish for a good friendship will wear green underwear; Pink will bring hope and white will bring peace and health.
In particular, for those who like to travel to many places when the new year comes, Mexicans will pick up their suitcases and walk around the house they are in; Or they will gather a few suitcases in the middle of the house and then go in a circle around them a few times. Besides, the Mexicans also have the custom to put a few candles on a white plate surrounded by green beans, rice flakes, corn, rice, flour, and a cinnamon stick. Then they will leave the vegetarian candle overnight until it has melted to mix with the food and will eventually dump the mixture and bury it there hoping for a lucky, prosperous year. Or one can eat 1 teaspoon of cooked lentils, or donate a handful of raw lentils to family and friends for luck in the new year.