This year 2023 is coming to an end, surely there are many things to be thankful for and for the new year on the way there will be many new goals and projects to achieve. Panama is a country loaded with culture from all corners of the world and its people have a list of traditions that they practice starting at 12 midnight on January 1. Each tradition is a way of expressing what is sought for the new year. Sometimes a person can perform more than one of the traditions to maximize the success of the year that is just beginning. Here, a list of the traditions that many Panamanians and foreign residents in the country carry out.
12 Grapes for 12 at Midnight
This tradition of Spanish origin consists of eating 12 grapes one after the other at exactly 12 midnight. Ideally, this should be done before 12:01 a.m. Each grape represents the months of the year and the seeds must be saved and counted and it is believed that this will be the lucky number of the new year.
Red for Love and Yellow for Good Finances
Popular tradition indicates that to attract love in the coming year, on the night of December 31, people should dress in red. And if you want to improve your finances, you should wear yellow underwear. There is no study that proves its effectiveness, but it sure makes New Year’s festivities more fun.
Sweep Bad Vibes Out of the House
Another of the rituals consists of sweeping the house on the morning of December 31 from the inside out so that bad vibes and bad energy go out to the street. This ritual is also implemented by later mopping the house with a mixture of seven-power oil, offal oil, asafoetida (a pungent-smelling herb) and indigo, to attract good fortune and prosperity.
Salt to Remove Bad Luck
If a person feels that they have had a bad year, tradition indicates that they should go to sea on the first of January. If you want the ocean to take all your troubles, you should dive backwards into the water and then come out front. In the end it is a good excuse to enjoy the beach, the breeze, the sand and a seawater bath.
Walking with Luggage bag for a Year Full of Trips
Most people have the desire to make even one trip a year. For this reason, you should have luggage bag ready with clothing and at midnight go around the neighborhood with the suitcase.
Oranges, Tangerines and Bread for Prosperity
A tradition brought by the Chinese is that for the new year to spill abundance and prosperity, oranges, tangerines and bread should be placed on the New Year’s Eve table.
A more Panamanian version indicates that instead of placing fruits on the table, they are hung behind the doors so that food is abundant in the coming year.
New Year with the Right Foot
The simplest ritual of all, since you only have to stomp your right foot right at 12 midnight to get rid of obstacles.
Burn Old Year’s Effigies
Another deeply rooted tradition among Panamanians are the effigies made of cloth and cardboard and inspired by hated or popular public figures, which are filled with all kinds of pyrotechnic devices and burned after 12 midnight to say goodbye to the season and burn all the bad things of the year.