Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Colombian Women

Caño Cristales. Coffee. Carnivals.

Add to that, the famous Shakira and Sofia Vergara.

If you’re fond of them, there’s no doubt you’d enjoy spending New Year’s day in Colombia. Known for their enthusiastic character, Colombians know how to have fun.

Fireworks in the sky.
Colombian women enjoy spending the holiday season with loved ones, so book a flight and surprise her this New Year.

Not only that, but they also take pride in their holiday customs and honor their heritage by continuing their practices passed down from one generation to the next.

This December, avert your usual holiday traditions by welcoming the year with your Colombian girlfriend. That said, below are some of their peculiar New Year traditions you might enjoy doing:

Wearing yellow-colored underwear on New Year’s Eve.

Yes, you heard that right. While you may not be fond of wearing a pair of underwear covered in yellow Crayola, Colombians do. For them, doing so will make the upcoming year full of love and happiness.

In fact, it is believed that wearing new ones in reverse will make it work. However, you also need to turn them around immediately afterward to maximize the effect.

Leisurely walking around the block with your suitcase.

Okay, so you’re taking your suitcase with you, only this time you’re not going somewhere far.

It is a tradition in Colombia to walk around the block while taking your suitcase with you, especially if you want the new year to be full of adventure and travel. One thing that makes this more is you might even see them walking the streets with their suitcases while doing errands on the 31st!

Eating 12 grapes by midnight.

Being an interracial couple, adjusting to each of your cultures takes time. As you try to get used to foreign customs, you learn that no culture is superior because each one is distinctive.

While the rest of the world drives away bad omen by feasting on round-shaped fruits on the New Year, Colombians, on the other hand, eat exactly 12 grapes by midnight.

But why 12?

Each grape grants you one wish, which means to say that you need to have 12 wishes ready before the New Year. For them to come true, one grape is consumed for every chime on the clock!

Filling your pockets with lentils.

This Colombian tradition originated from Europe. It is believed that if you fill your pockets with lentils, regardless of any color, the new year will be a bountiful one for you.

Colombian New Year dishes.
New Year's day in Colombia is filled with some of the strangest yet most interesting traditions.

So if you’re visiting Colombia for the holidays, be sure to equip yourself with big pockets for a fruitful year ahead.

Surrounding yourself with money to mark the year.

It’s a basic human instinct to want financial stability. There’s a sense of fulfillment when you can cover bills and emergency expenses while adding more to your savings account.

To financially secure themselves for the upcoming year, Colombians traditionally fill their pockets with cash or simply hold them in their hand. At the same time, they surround themselves with all the things they want to have for the new year.

Placing your right foot forward.

After the clock strikes 12, Colombians step with their right foot forward to ensure that they only make good and right decisions in the new year. This way, they get rid of all the unwanted risks from making a bad choice.

They make this tradition fun by playfully tripping each other to make them step on their left foot instead of their right ones.

Cleaning the house on the 31st.

It’s a lot more appealing and pleasant to celebrate with clean surroundings. Despite the hectic holiday preparations, Colombians pay attention to making their houses clean for the New Year.

For them, it is their way to start the year with a clean slate and leave all of the negative memories behind. While the practice is somewhat similar to other traditions around the world, the only difference is that they clean to brush off the bad energy rather than prepare for good things to come.

Burning the ‘old year’ effigy.

Unusual, yes. As part of the tradition, Colombians make a doll stuffed with firecrackers a day before the New Year. By midnight, they set fire to it as a symbol for burning the old year and for what it represents.

If you have plenty of things you wish to leave behind, be sure to fill the doll with as many firecrackers as you like!

A couple celebrating together.
Surprise your Latina lady and meet her family by visiting Colombia this New Year.

Laying wheat on the table.

To attract positive energy and good luck, they decorate their tables with 12 shafts of wheat with hopes that they’d have plenty to eat for the coming year.

The New Year traditions of Colombia are centered on bringing good fortune and pleasant beginnings. It puts great emphasis on abundance, well-being, and wealth in general.

Where to Go When You’re in Colombia for the New Year

Celebrating the New Year in Colombia is great fun. It allows you to experience a whole new kind of festivities and learn about a foreign culture.

Make the most out of your trip by visiting these places:

  1. Bogota

    If you want to enjoy the outdoors during the holidays, the Colombian capital is an ideal destination. Enjoy fireworks shows at the Plaza Bolivar Square, or join New Year parties at Andres Carne de Res, La Villa, Theatron, and Baum.

  2. Cartagena

    Jewel of the Indies is one of the most popular destinations during the holidays both for locals and tourists alike. When you’re in Cartagena, you can watch the sunset, enjoy great meals, and dance the night away.

  3. Cali

    The city of Cali is considered a great party place and the country’s salsa capital. When you’re there, be sure not to miss out on the Cali Fair, which is one of the most fun festivals in the country.

It’s fascinating to learn how a culture celebrates the New Year because the experience itself allows you to open up not only to the people but to the country as a whole.

As much as you shouldn’t miss celebrating Christmas in Colombia, you might as well extend your trip and welcome the New Year there, too.


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