Word of the Week: Spanish Lesson

Week 36: New Year’s traditions!

Lili Normand
Expresiones: Spanish Language and Mexican Arts

In Latin America, people have special ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Here are only a few of them:

Several Spanish speaking countries create a “Muñeco de Año Viejo” – a life size rag doll dressed up with old clothes. People placed it outside their doors and burned it at midnight. This doll represents the old year being over and a fresh start is ahead.

At midnight, people eat one grape per month of the next year. Every time you eat a grape you make a wish for the coming year: love, health, peace…

If you like traveling, you want to try this one. Take a suitcase and run one or two blocks on New Year’s Eve to make sure you will travel next year. While running, some people like to mention the name of the places they would like to go.

If you want to find love in the coming year, you need to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve. If you want money and good luck you will wear yellow. Some people will wear both.

Uvas (oo-bahs) means grapes. Think about this word while eating grapes.

Maleta (mah-leh-tah) means suitcase. You will need a “maleta” to travel next year.

Feliz Año Nuevo (feh-lees ah-nyoh nweh-voh) Happy New Year!

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