Superstitious New Year

January 1st, 2007

Peru has dozens of superstitions that are believed unquestionably – the most colourful being at the ones to bring luck, health and money in the new year.

You won’t be assured a prosperous new year if you are not wearing at least yellow underwear when it arrives. Street sellers sell yellow hats, clothes and anything else that can be coloured yellow – the more yellow you have with you when the clock strikes 12 the luckier you will be. I would bet this is something passed down from Andean cultures such as the Incas for whom yellow (or rather gold) is the colour of the sun and represents everything good in life.

12 Grapes
Want your dreams to come true but don’t want to actually have to work for them? Peruvians have the answer – eating 12 grapes at midnight will make them real. Inherited from Spain, this tradition can be coupled with others such as taking your suitcases for a walk around the block with your grapes if you want to travel.

Lemon Power
Ensure a healthy new year by sucking out all the bad energy from your body and the rooms of your home by placing ultra-acidic Peruvian Lemons throughout the house – preferably in the 4 corners of the rooms to adequately surround the inhabitants. You know you are unhealthy if the lemons turn dry and black quickly – but don’t worry, you’ve just been cured!

Never go Hungry again
You have to spend money to make money – the same goes with food. To ensure a full stomach throughout the year – take some lentils and pour them on the floor. This sacrifice, with heavy undertones of pre-Hispanic sacrifices to Pachamama, must be done before the new year arrives to work.

Baño de Florecimiento
Bathe yourself with (or have someone throw over you) water with various flowers and herbs floating within. The natural essences will remove any bad energy and leave you with the good.

Burning Dolls
Rid your town of bad luck by burning something that represents the town pariah. You’ll often find these are local politicians.

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