burning effigy Panama

New Year’s Eve Grapes, Gitch and Guys on Fire 4

New Year’s Eve in Latin America offers up some fun traditions to ring in the new year – and we don’t have to put up with Ryan Seacrest either! Here’s just a few New Year’s eve traditions that people partake in on December 31st:

Hey man…got any Grapes?

New Year’s Eve Grapes

Did you know about the New Year’s Eve grapes tradition? Eating 12 grapes is supposed to bring good luck in the new year. Known as  las doce uvas de la suerte, legend has it Spanish grape growers did this one year and saw a bountiful harvest follow. I’m sure eating one grape with each bell toll at midnight had everything to do with said harvest.

Panty Party

Another tradition – what color is your underwear? If you want to find true love in the new year, then wear red. Want money in the new year? Then wear yella there fella. Here’s a list of gitch colors and what they will bring, from friend Susan Herron:

Red – Love. Passion (for people or life).
Orange – Happiness. Joy.
Yellow – Money. Wealth. Courage.
Green – Hope. Harmony. Balance. New beginnings.
Blue – Maturity. Rest. Peace of mind. Protection.
Purple – Power.
Pink – Romance. Emotion (in life and relationships).
Brown – Security.
Gray – Uncertainty. It’s neutral and not suggested to wear.
White – Peace. Wisdom.

Other important information: The panties must be NEW. After all, a new year calls for new panties!  Only wear solid color panties – no multi-colored ones! Trying to outsmart the system will cause BAD JUJU! No bueno.

Hmm…new panties. I’m out. Wonder what happens if you go commando?

Burning Effigies

And lastly, the burning effigy. At the stroke of midnight, these stuffed dummies get lit on fire, the idea being to “cleanse” the bad stuff from the last 12 months before the new year begins. People sometimes make these dummies look like politicians or celebrities, maybe even a neighbour they dislike.

bad neighbor

Got a bad neighbor?

Whatever your tradition and wherever you are this December 31st/January 1st, have a safe and happy new year, and see you in Season Five!

Happy New Year Dudes!


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4 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Grapes, Gitch and Guys on Fire

  • Mike Herron

    They do these traditions here in Ecuador. I heard that the idea of 12 grapes was started by Spanish grape-growers in 1909 after a particularly bountiful harvest and they had a surplus of grapes to get rid of. However it started, it must have worked because countless people buy grapes for the New Year celebration. A continuing way to dispose of surplus grapes. Definitely good luck for the grape-growers.

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Cool stuff Dude! Neat effigy deal. We are likely heading to Bocas in February so looking forward to seeing how you live down in Panama. Thanks for the comment on my blog and keep up the good work Al!