Last year, our first New Year’s as almost-residents, we spent a wonderful New Year’s Eve in the multicultural home of our dear friends María and Bill. Bill is a Scotsman, María a Mazatleca, and they met, married and began raising their children in the Arab Gulf. Anyway, it is with María and Bill that we first learned the Mexican custom of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve. 12 grapes, sometimes in two different colors, one for each month of the new year. 12 wishes for the new year. You eat each grape as you make your wish–save room!
The other interesting New Year’s custom I learned about was that those who wish to travel in the New Year take their empty suitcases out into the street on New Year’s Day. It brings good fortune of the travel-related variety:)
This morning in the newspaper I’ve learned yet a third interesting New Year’s-related custom: women buy new lingerie (bras and panties) just prior to the New Year. On New Year’s Eve/Day, to greet the new year, they buy and wear either Red (they want love in the New Year) or Yellow (they want money in the New Year). The lingerie shops around town report to the newspaper that traditionally red intimate wear has far outsold the yellow. However, this year, yellow was the top seller. Yet another example of the multitude of ways that economic hardship touches lives.