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¡Feliz Año Nuevo! How to Celebrate the New Year Mexican Style

New Years firework display at pyramid of Kukulcan, Chichen Itza, Mexico

We recently covered how Mexicans celebrate Christmas in our previous blog but how is the New Year celebrated in Mexico? What makes it different and special? Some of the festivities are very similar to those in Canada and the US, but many are surprisingly different. Let’s find out!

Nochevieja – New Year’s Eve

Traditionally Mexicans gather to enjoy a large dinner with family and or friends on Nochevieja, New Year’s Eve, and in many families that is still the case. However many people prefer dinner at a fancy restaurant that offers entertainment and festivities similar to what we’re accustomed to in North America. Many Mexicans also like to paint the town red and party it up in the many bars, discotheques, and resorts throughout the country that offer special New Year’s Eve packages.

Nochevieja Food

The traditional Nochevieja dinner consists of bacalao, a stew made from dried salted codfish with tomatoes, olives, and other vegetables. Other Mexican foods prepared and served on Nochevieja are also served at Christmas, such as pozole, tamales, stuffed pork loin and turkey, and the hot Ponche Navideño we talked about previously can also be served.

Las Doce Uvas – The Twelve Grapes

One particularly interesting Mexican tradition is Las Doce Uvas, or the 12 grapes. At the stroke of midnight, some revellers will eat 12 grapes in under a minute in order to make their wishes come true and bring good luck throughout the year. The 12 grapes are said to represent the 12 months of the year.

And of course, everyone hugs and kisses one another when the New Year rings in, just like in most countries.

What Colour is your Underwear?

Pardon me? A little personal aren’t we? Many people will wear red or yellow underwear on Nochevieja as they believe red will attract love and yellow wealth. Some people also say that green attracts health, white is for hope and peace, while pink may attract friendship and true love. Regardless of whether you’re superstitious or not, it is a very colourful and playful Mexican tradition.


Fireworks are a mainstay of Mexican New Year celebrations – as they are in many countries around the world. There are huge fireworks displays in large cities like Mexico City, and many mid-sized cities will also host a fireworks display in town centres or thereabouts. In smaller towns and villages – and indeed in some hotels and resorts as well – there may be private fireworks displays in gardens, parks, beaches, or in the streets.

The Sweep

A New Year is a time for positive change in one’s life and what better way to start fresh by sweeping the old vibes out of your house? Well then, get your broom and sweep! Some people will also toss some coins on the ground just outside the door and sweep them in to bring them good fortune and financial success in the year to come.

Why not enjoy the rich cultural traditions of Mexico to the fullest by learning Spanish and being able to easily converse with the locals? Speak Spanish Academy offers a broad selection of classes for adults, teens, and children of all ages.

Contact us today at https://www.speakspanishacademy.com/programs/ for more information.

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