Saturday, December 31, 2005

A New Year Recipe: Grapes, Suitcases, Sweeping and Red or Yellow Colored Underwear

New Year’s Eve traditions abound in Mexico. At the strike of midnight twelve church bells ring at which time you are to eat twelve grapes (one for each month of the year) and make a wish, grab your suitcases and take a symbolic walk out the door so that you will travel in the new year, sweep around the house to make a “clean start” all while wearing either red underwear for love in the new year or yellow for money. There’s so much to do it’s no wonder the festivities last until well into the morning, at least after 5 a.m.
I toasted in the New Year at Karina’s house and just after midnight we took a taxi to Tania’s. As we walked in, Karina and I were given a bag with 12 grapes. I tried to remember to make a wish as I popped each into my mouth. Tania said that at midnight she ran out of the house with her suitcases – she really wants to travel this year and has an appointment in a couple of months at the U.S. Embassy to hopefully get her visa. We sat around a big oval table with her whole family, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and her grandma. We and enjoyed a fantastic festive meal with tasty meat, pasta, bread, salad and plenty of tequila and other beverages to go around. Around 2:30 I was ready to call it a night, but as there weren’t any taxis available, I went with Karina and Tania to another party.

This party was under a big white tent and music blasted from the speakers while videos played. I was then ready to leave around 5 a.m. and a taxi picked me up sometime before 5:30 a.m. I had a great time and look forward to incorporating some of the Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions into my celebration next year.