Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - Though celebrated much like it is in other parts of the world - with dinners, parties, midnight toasts and fireworks - New Year's Eve in Mexico is full of delightful customs that focus on transitioning from the old to the new.
In the Mexican culture, so full of traditions, year-end rituals are believed to help you find love, money, good luck and good fortune in the coming year. Though they may seem odd to visitors, taking part in these charming customs will make welcoming 2018 in Puerto Vallarta even more festive.
Here are a few or our favorite Mexican New Year's Eve Traditions:
• Write your wishes for the upcoming year on pieces of paper and put them in a safe place. Burn the paper when each wish comes true.
• Clean the house; take a bath; or wash the pets and cars on New Year's Eve for renewal. Sweep and mop from the inside outwards. Mop the house with cinnamon water. Heat the water with cinnamon sticks as if you were making tea. Burn incense before midnight.
• Display a rimmed tray with a candle at the center, and ask family and friends to deposit change in the tray, afterwards filling it with water for good luck.
• Place a few candles on a white plate surrounded by lentils, beans, rice, corn, flour and a cinnamon stick to spice things up. Allow candles to burn all night until melted; then peel the waxy food mixture off of the plate and bury it for abundance and for food to always be on your table.
• Eat a tablespoon of cooked lentils, and give a handful of raw lentils to family and friends for good fortune.
• On New Year's Eve, women who want love and passion in the next year wear red underwear; for happiness and prosperity, yellow underwear; for health and well-being, green; for true love and friendship, pink underwear; for hope and peace, white.
• As the New Year's Eve midnight countdown begins, eat 12 grapes making a wish for each one, representing the 12 months of the next year. A sweet grape means it will be a good month; a sour grape, a bad month.
• At midnight on New Year's Eve, open the door and symbolically sweep out 'the old.' At midnight, toss 12 coins outside and sweep them into the house for prosperity.
• On New Year's Eve at midnight, throw a bucket of water out the window for renewal.
• Watch fireworks on New Year's Eve to frighten away evil spirits, allowing safe passage into the next year.
• Want to travel? On New Year's Eve at midnight, take empty suitcases for a walk outside; encircle the house or walk around the block for the distance to be traveled next year. Another option is to gather the suitcases in the center of a room and walk around them several times.Whether you practice one, or all, of these traditions, letting go of the past and beginning a new chapter of our lives is the true intention. Whatever wish or goal you have for 2018, we wish you all the best and hope you have a remarkable New Year!