2016 has been a most interesting year to say the least, so to ring in the New Year we want to share some customs from the Southwest — rituals to cast away negativity, draw in new beginnings, or even find love. Here are 12 examples that are taken to heart in many, many households …
1 – Eat 12 grapes, one for each strike of midnight, making a wish with each one. The grapes also represent the 12 months of the new year, and each wish is to ensure a lucky month
2 – At midnight, sweep away old dust out the door and sweep coins into the house for prosperity
3 – Write good and bad events from the past year on pieces of paper and throw them into the fire to remove negativity and bring new beginnings
4 – Bake a sweet bread with a charm or coin hidden inside. The one who receives the charm in their slice will have good luck in the new year
5 – Walk a suitcase around the house or block to invite good travels
6 – Clean everything! Take a bath on New Year’s Eve, wash your pets, your car, mop the floors — for out with the old, in with new clean beginnings
7 – Wear colored underwear:
Red – to find love
Green – for health and well-being (prosperity)
Yellow – for happiness and prosperity
White – for hope and peace (health)
8 – Burn candles on a white plate surrounded by rice, corn, beans, lentils, flour and cinnamon. When the candles burn out the wax-covered foods are buried to invite abundance for the new year
9 – Eat a tablespoon of cooked lentils, or give a handful of raw lentils to family and friends for good fortune. (In the American South, the tradition is to eat black eyed peas.)
10 – If you are in an area that allows it, light firecrackers to frighten off bad spirits and bring good luck and safe passage into the New Year.
11 – Dancing and food with family. And a wonderful celebration we attended on New Year’s Day 2011 was the Taos Pueblo celebration with Turtle Dance for giving thanks for things received, accepting change, fertility, and abundance to come
12 – And of course, kiss your sweetheart at midnight!
If you have traditions to add to the list, please leave them in the comments. We’d love to hear about them!
Wishing you and your loved ones closeness, good fortune, love and blessings in the new year.
xo Amy & Mr.D