Bringing In A New Year Is Celebrated In Culturally Rich Ways Throughout Central And South America



Bringing in the New Year serves as a time period for many to release, reflect and recover from a year of experiences that can bring vast emotions. This time of the year is celebrated and embraced in different ways depending on the part of the world you live in.


Central and South America holds many traditions and customs that locals embrace to bring good fortune and prosperity into the New Year. These traditions include wearing red to bring love into your life and wearing yellow to attract more financial opportunities. Traditions also include taking your luggage for a walk to bring on travel opportunities and eating grapes.


In Mexico, many eat Bacalao (dried salted codfish) and lentils as a way to attract abundance and prosperity. In addition to this, hot fruit punch called ponche, is typically consumed on New Years Eve and Christmas. For Costa Ricans, it is traditional for many to spend New Year's Eve surrounded by family and friends enjoying a late dinner. Some may bring in the New Year on the beach and watch the fireworks as they transcend across the sky. Fireworks are commonly used during this time to mark the start of the new year.

Brazilians like to bring in the new year by wearing all white to honor the god Oxalá which is an orisha believed to be the creator of human bodies. The food you eat on New Year’s Eve determines the way the rest of your year will go so many eat lentils to bring good luck and pomegranates for wealth. Many Brazilians also enjoy bringing in the New Year on the beach, the most popular one being Copacabana.


New Year’s Eve traditions vary in each country. Below is a list of different countries across Central and South who bring in the New Year in a unique way!


  • Argentina - Argentinians like to bring in the New Year by having a late dinner with family and friends.

  • Belize - Belizeans enjoy bringing in the New Year with fireworks.

  • Bolivia - Bolivians enjoy eating twelve grapes as they count down for the new year.

  • Chile - Chileans have many New Year Eve traditions including eating lentils for economic success.

  • Colombia - In Colombia, a traditional custom for New Year's Eve is to create a human sized doll stuffed with rags and newspaper, that will be burned as a way to symbolically bring in the New Year and cast off the old one.

  • Ecuador - Ecuadorians enjoy eating grapes on New Year's Eve to attract prosperity and good luck.

  • El Salvador - In El Salvador, many crack an egg one minute before midnight, to dictate how their New Year will turn out.

  • Guatemala - Guatemalans bring in the new year by wearing new clothes, listening to lively music and watching firework shows.

  • Guyana - In Guyana, many enjoy eating ‘cook up rice’ as a New Years Eve meal to ensure prosperity.

  • Honduras - Hondurans bring in the new year with fireworks.

  • Nicaragua - In Nicaragua, many enjoy attending a late dinner with family and friends.

  • Panama - In Panama, many eat twelve grapes and make a wish with each grape.

  • Paraguay - In Paraguay, festivals are used to create a positive ambiance as the New Year approaches.

  • Peru - In Peru, many bring in the New Year by wearing yellow for prosperity and good luck.

  • Uruguay - In Uruguay, many enjoy eating lentils as a way to bring prosperity into the New Year.

  • Venezuela - Venezuelans enjoy attending firework shows while being with family and friends.


Now that you know how others across the globe bring in the New Year, how did you bring in 2022?