The year-end holidays in Mexico are always known for time honored traditions and a family oriented spirit. You can sing Christmas carols with your friends and family and enjoy some buñuelos, tamales and ponche spiked with rum.
Then comes New Year’s Eve. And while it has its traditions, this holiday is not so family-oriented.
The most important beach destinations in Mexico are packed with young people looking for a good time. The most visited ones are Acapulco, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. They are always packed with young Mexicans who travel in groups to get together and have fun with friends on the last night of the year.
Upscale hotels and restaurants host New Year’s Eve dinners with festive menus and orchestras for dancing.
What you wear on New Year’s Eve is thought to influence your destiny during the next 12 months. Some dress in white from head to toe to invite good vibrations and assure a good year spiritually. Green clothing attracts a year of good health. Wearing red underwear is said to bring love, while yellow underwear brings wealth. And no, it’s not fair to wear both colors. You have to decide which is more important.
Whether you celebrate with family or friends, New Year’s Eve dinner is usually a feast.
Roast turkey or stuffed pork loin with pasta in a creamy sauce and a salad are favorites in my family. A margarita glass filled with grapes and a flute of champagne or sparkling cider, known as sidra, are set at each place.
Someone keeps an eye on the clock, and leads the countdown chorus to midnight — “Diez! Nueve! Ocho! Siete! Seis! Cinco! Cuatro! Tres! Dos… Feliz año nuevoooo! At the stroke of midnight, we drink a champagne toast to the New Year. Then we gobble down the 12 grapes in a single minute, one at a time, to assure good luck in the upcoming months that they represent. Here’s a suggestion… choose small seedless grapes. They’re easier to chew and swallow fast.
Some of us grab an empty suitcase we had ready and walk around the house or run around the block so we’ll get to travel in the year to come.
And all of us embrace those present, one by one, with an air kiss near the cheek for the ladies, and a bear hug that goes slap, slap, SLAP, slap, slap, SLAP on the back for the men.