A New Year holiday is observed every 1 January in Columbia. New Year’s Eve celebrations on 31 December are complimented with a day of rest on the first day of January to recover from the day before.
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Colombian families almost always have their own unique new year’s traditions that develop over the years, but Colombia also has a number of truly national and enduring traditions that are quite unique.
It’s not just about fireworks and a big party in Colombia. It’s also about “agüeros”, meaning “omens” or “good luck bringing activities.”
For example, some people wait till midnight, at which point the church bells toll twelve times. They eat one grape at the sound of each bell and make a wish as they eat it. They also fill their pockets with lentils on New Year’s Eve or else put a handful in their purse.
Some go even further and make sure they wear a yellow pair of underwear and walk around the block with a suitcase on 31 December. Yellow is the colour of happiness in Colombia, and the suitcase “omen” is supposed to ensure lots of travel in the year ahead, which is thought to be a good thing.
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