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A Colombian New Year In Ohio

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

I think we can all agree that 2020 didn't turned out exactly as any of us hoped or planned. But if any country knows how to let go of the past and plan for a better coming year with some unique traditions, it's Colombia. So what better way to say BYE to 2020 and prepare for a fresh start, than following a few of Colombia's unique, somewhat bizarre, rituals!

Here is a full list of the Colombian New Year Traditions that my family and I followed this year:

1. Clean your house thoroughly on December 31st to start the year off right.

2. Make a New Year that you can burn it at midnight.

3. Bathe in the river - this is a tradition that is celebrated in the Valle de Cauca region and the city of Cali. The water is a little warmer there than in Ohio...

4. Wear brand new yellow underwear to guarantee a new year full of love and happiness.

5. Put lentils in your pockets (hopefully not stolen ones...) to ensure a bountiful coming year.

6. Take your suitcase around the block. This will guarantee that the coming year is full of travel and adventure!

7. Place 12 wheat stalks on your table - also to ensure that the coming year is bountiful and you and your family have plenty to eat.

8. Make sure you are holding cash at midnight to guarantee financial security.

9. Eat 12 grapes in the last 12 seconds of the year. You also have to make a wish for every grape you eat. Try not to choke on the grapes. This is easier said than done.

10. Burn the doll! The doll represents all that you are letting go of from the past year - the pain, regrets, bad decisions. Say goodbye and make way for a fresh start!

11. But before you get up to do this...make sure your first step into the new year is with your RIGHT foot.

12. Most importantly, always follow steps 1-11 with your family and loved ones.



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