The stroke of 12

A Chilean twist to a very happy New Year’s Eve

Ring in the new year a la chilena, with four fun and funky holiday traditions to ensure a prosperous, adventurous 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011  

New Year’s Eve fireworks in Valparaíso, Chile from Diego Peñailillo on Vimeo.

As the clock strokes 12 and the night sky explodes with fireworks over the Valparaíso bay, celebrate the beginning of the new year with a special Chilean flavor, starting with the sparkling wine - served alone or with pineapple ice cream. After enjoying your first sweet sip of 2012, consider adding one of the following fun and funky Chilean traditions to your New Year’s Eve:

12 Grapes

For each stroke of the clock that chimes in the new year, many Chileans will be eating some of their country’s most famous fruit. Tradition says each person should eat six green grapes and six red grapes in order to make their dreams come true for the new year, and that the taste of each grape - sweet or sour - will predict the flavor of each of the twelve months of 2012.

Spoonful of Lentils

One of Chile’s most well-loved traditions on New Year’s Eve involves a hearty spoonful of legumes. Popular superstition says that taking a bite of stewed lentils in the first minutes of the new year will bring good luck and prosperity for the rest of the year.  

Yellow Underpants

For luck in love and happiness, Chileans say you must be wearing a pair of yellow underthings for the new year - and they must have been a present, you can’t have bought them for yourself! And for luck getting plenty of fantastic new clothes in 2012, some say that the underpants should be on inside-out.

A Suitcase

Whether you’re traveling Chile or just dreaming of traveling to Chile, bring in the new year with some extra travel luck, by following the Chilean tradition of taking out your suitcase. Superstition says that it’s better to get up on top of a table with the suitcase, and better still to take a walk around the block accompanied by your luggage, during the wee hours of January 1. And while you’re out - superstition also says that the first person you see outside during the new year should be young: the younger the person, the better your future. Hello, babies!