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Last updateFri, 27 Nov 2020 10am

Mexico's quirky new year traditions

It is 11:59 p.m. Families are huddled at the dinner table, listening for the chimes of the clock that signal the arrival of the new year. As soon as the clock strikes, each person starts eating a dozen grapes. Mexico’s most unique New Year tradition at times seems like it was taken from a wacky game show – the person who can get all 12 grapes down before the clock strikes midnight gets good luck for the rest of the year. 

Some also posit the birthday-esque theory that in the process of gorging the 12 grapes, a person must focus on his or her wishes.  The tradition seems to have originated in Mexico City, though no one seems to know its roots. Catholic priests say the rite is not from the Christian religion. 

Another widely practised new year tradition in Mexico is wearing red underwear as the year turns if you wish to have amorous success in the coming 12 months. If your heart is set on making pots of money, wear yellow calzones.

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