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Mexican New Year's Eve - champagne

Mexican New Year’s Eve Traditions

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Looking for love, good fortune, renewal or prosperity in the New Year? Read on for the unique rituals Mexicans use to attract all these and more. From the amazing food to the rituals they perform, we are sharing some of our favourite Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions and fun facts.

1. New Year’s Eve Is Called Nochevieja

New Years Eve Celebration in Mexico

Translated, Nochevieja means “old night” and the celebration focuses on saying goodbye to the old.  

2. Dinner Must Include Bacalao

New Year's Eve

Most important on our list of Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions is the New Years Eve food! The night before New Year’s in Mexico, on 31st December, it’s traditional to have a big dinner. The family will gather together to enjoy a big meal. Among the must-eat dishes, the most important is Bacalao, which is a dried salted codfish, cooked with tomatoes and olives. There can’t be a New Year’s Eve dinner without Bacalao. The recipe is called Bacalao a la Vizcaino and it originally comes from Spain. 

3. Buñeulos


In the state of Oaxaca, their Mexican traditions and customs involve a special crispy fritter called Buñuelos. It must be served on a ceramic dish and will be smashed on the floor after the sweets are eaten. It symbolically represents a rupture with a possibly undesired past.

4. Other Dishes

Other Mexican New Year traditions include Ensalada de Noche Buena (a rich salad), tamales, romeritos (a green leafy vegetable), pozole (pork/chicken soup), stuffed pork loin and turkey. And, of course, the famous mole sauces from Puebla. These are all typical dishes consumed during a Mexican New Year.

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5. Eating Grapes

New Year's Eve

Next on our list of Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions and one of the most well known is to eat grapes for a good omen. There’s a special way to do it otherwise it doesn’t work. You have to eat 12 grapes – one for each month. Why do that? Because it’s believed that it’ll bring good vibes and luck every month. However, if you want to do it properly you should set an intention for every month, and every grape. You should focus on this whilst eating each grape, and you must do it in 60 seconds. Together with the grapes, which are also eaten as a dessert, another popular one is the Pan Dulce. (Hint: eat seedless grapes). A sweet grape means it will be a good month next year; a sour grape, a bad month.

6. Drink Champagne With A Ring In It 

Champagne glass with a ring in it

Another prosperity booster is to drink champagne with a ring in the glass. It’s said this will assure abundance in money and love for the coming New Year.  However, in order for the trick to work, you will need to finish the drink and hug someone in the room whilst wishing them a “Happy New Year” before taking out the ring. How do you say Happy New Year in Spanish? Feliz Año Nuevo! 

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7. Wear New Pants!

coloured knickers

Another of our favourite Mexican traditions is wearing new pants. They need to be yellow if you would like to attract happiness and prosperity. Choose red if you would like to attract love and passion. Green for health and well-being, pink for true love and friendship, and white for hope and peace. Never wear black clothing!

8. For Those Who Love To Travel

Suitcase for travelling

Should you wish to travel in the New Year, at midnight toss a few clothes in a suitcase and do some rounds around the house or in the neighbourhood. Another option is to gather the suitcases in the centre of a room, and walk around them several times. This is a proven ritual that will bring lots of travelling for the following year.

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9. Money

sweeping coins for luck

Who doesn’t want more money? One ritual that is considered effective to favour prosperity is by throwing some coins out of the door and sweeping them back into the house. However, there must be 12 (one for each month) in order for the trick to work. 

10. Fireworks

fireworks at the pyramid

These cannot be missed during New Year in Mexico, and any New Year’s Eve celebrations in fact! They not only make a spectacular show to marvel at, but they also have a special meaning. The noise and lights are supposed to scare away evil spirits and negative intentions, allowing safe passage into the New Year. These amazing performances are best viewed from a beautiful beach.

11. Make Your Wish Come True!

writing wishes for good luck

On a piece of paper, write your wishes for the upcoming year and place them on top of the table. Burn the paper when that wish comes true.

12. Bring Good Luck

tray with a candle

Display a rimmed tray with a candle in the centre, and ask family and friends to deposit change into the tray, filling it with water afterwards for good luck.

Or for prosperity, place a few candles on a white plate surrounded by lentils, beans, rice, corn, flour and a cinnamon stick to spice things up. Allow the candles to burn all night until melted, then peel the waxy food mixture off the plate and bury it for abundance, and for food to always be on your table.

13. For Fortune

eating lentils for good fortune

During New Year’s in Mexico, eat a tablespoon of cooked lentils, or give a handful of raw lentils to family and friends, for good fortune.

14. Bring New Good Vibes 

cleaning New Years Eve ritual

Finally on our list of Mexican New Year’s Eve traditions is cleaning. Clean the house, take a bath, or wash the pets and cars on New Year’s Eve for renewal. Mop the house with cinnamon water. Heat the water with cinnamon sticks as if you were making tea. Burn incense before midnight. Sweep the negativity out from inside outwards – take a broom and sweep the floor focusing on the intention to sweep all of the negativity and bad vibes out, to leave a clean space to welcome the good vibes. 

Another way is to throw a bucket of water out of the window, for renewal, at midnight!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Mexico’s New Year’s Eve traditions. Which one will you be trying out?! A very Happy New Year from all of us at Gran Luchito!

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