Customs

New Year’s Celebrations Bring Good Fortune in Cuzco

Happy New Year in Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza M.)

New Years Eve has arrived and all of Cuzco is anxious to begin the New Year well. They want to leave everything bad behind them. At midnight they want to begin the New Year in a way that makes for their New Year to start well. After all, there is a popular saying that the way you receive the New Year is how you will live all year long. At midnight, people give each other hugs, they toast with cups of wine and champagne, burning old clothes, lighting fireworks and firecrackers, and tossing yellow mistura (confetti) on each other’s heads.

People really enjoyed this last year of 2013 and they say that you should enjoy this feast of the year’s end to the fullest with lots of joy and fun so that you can begin the New Year filled with energy.

Kabala for Good Luck
Kabala for Good Luck

To be able to make the New Year a good one, people rely on what are called cabalas. The word comes from the Jewish Kabala that the Spanish brought and means auguries, or amulets, and tokens that can bring what you want.

For example, right after midnight people will each eat twelve grapes. Before you eat each one you should make a wish (a desire in Spanish) and do the same for each until they are finished. You make your twelve wishes for what you most want during the New Year.

People burn their old clothes at this time, as a symbol that they are destroying in flames all the bad things that have happened to them in the course of the year and the suffering they have experienced. They make toasts with wine and champagne with lots of solidarity to keep that togetherness all year round. And they wear yellow underwear to gain good fortune.

 

Kabalas to Change Your Luck this New Year
Kabalas to Change Your Luck this New Year

But this is not all. People will also buy miniatures of what they want, good luck charms and statues, and much more. You will see lots of miniature money especially because people hope to improve their finances this year. They also will give this good luck to their loved ones.

Besides celebrating at home, others will go to the Main Square to receive the New Year, our Plaza de Armas. From seven pm, just after dark, people will begin arriving to get a good spot. There they can enjoy professional musicians entertaining the crowd and they can drink and laugh with everyone else while awaiting the magical hour of midnight.

Then the fiesta will go to the discotheques and bars. People will continue dancing and drinking to the last hours of the night.

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