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Hispanics welcome the new year with rituals

By Juan Miret & Juan Carlos Nañez
Hispano de Tulsa

TULSA, Oklahoma – Some eat 12 grapes. Others eat lunch with a serving of tasty lentils, and many clean the house top to bottom. Whatever their ritual, Hispanics hope 2012 brings prosperity, health and success.

The rituals
Extravagant acts include jumping on one’s right foot while holding a glass of champagne with a gold ring in it. Others who are more intrepid run around the neighborhood with their suitcases in hand, but not before putting on yellow underwear – and wearing it backwards.

In short, New Year rituals are a vivid example that there are no laws that govern taste.

The transition from the old year to the new comes loaded with symbolism that ultimately seek to bring good omens for the new period about to begin.

Following are some of the most popular Hispanic rituals that are seen during this celebration:

The 12 grapes

Tradition says that one should eat a grape for each time the bell rings at midnight. Some combine sig green grapes with six black ones. Each grape must represent a wish.

Money in the shoes

To attract economic fortunes, it is recommended that one place a bill in each shoe.


Wearing a brand new outfit or clothing item symbolizes starting the new year with prosperity. Some recommend complementing the outfit with yellow underwear.


A Spanish proverb says, “You eat them or you leave them.” These legumes represent abundance, and it is believed that those who eat a plate of them on New Year’s Eve ensure their economic stability.


The colors of the candles take…

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