How do Dominicans celebrate the change of the year? For many Dominicans still nowadays, on New Year’s Eve it is about doing things to attract good luck for the New Year – besides dancing and celebrating. Here’s a list of the most common Dominican New Year’s Traditions:
Dominican New Year’s Traditions
- Get dressed in yellow (or wear at least yellow underwear), drag a suitcase, and walk around the block or the house. In this ritual, wearing yellow indicates good fortune, while the suitcase and the action of making a turn symbolize a trip; in a few words, the desire to travel.
- Eat 12 grapes, with every stroke of the clock at midnight, and make a wish each time.
- Wear new, unused clothes for the New Year; likewise get rid of all the ‘old’ and useless that is in the closet = to throw away the Old, so that the New may enter.
- Have fireworks and/or shooting to welcome the New Year.
- Embrace and congratulate the whole family, friends, neighbors, and all loved ones at 12:00 a.m. when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, known as “Cañonazo” in the Dominican Republic
- Paint the home and do a deep cleaning to start the New Year fresh and renewed. Once the house looks shiny and new, throw out the old brooms. This has to happen before midnight to keep bad luck away from the New Year.
NEW YEAR’s EVE:
Of course, good food is in the center of it all. A Dominican New Year’s dinner is one of the biggest feasts of the year, with Pork Roast, Russian salad, Pasteles en Hoja, Ponche (Rum Eggnog) and lots of authentic Dominican rum from the big B’s: Brugal, Bermudez, and Barceló.
If you like to try some typical Dominican Christmas and New Year’s eve dishes yourself, check out many great recipes here on the Dominican Cookbook of Tía Clara and Tía Ilana.
NEW YEAR DAWN:
It doesn’t matter whether you dance, talk or eat until daybreak – people like to stay up late to see the first sunlight of the coming year. Many make a wish as soon as they see the sun rising, while others initiate the resolutions of the New Year.
THE PARTY GOES ON:
The New Year’s celebrations may continue until January 6th, Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day).
Read more about Dominican New Year’s traditions (in Spanish):
“Propósitos”: New Year Resolutions
Of course, New Year Resolutions shall not be missed either! The most popular resolutions for 2021 in general are exercising more and improving fitness (50% of participants), losing weight (48%), saving money (44%), and improving diet (39%).
This is a match for another resolution which is for many Dominicans always amongst the top 5: travelling, as already mentioned in the above Dominican New Year’s Traditions.
Now, how do you plan your New Year Resolutions so that your chances of completing them will be higher this time? Read about some suggestions and hints here (in Spanish):