Noche Vieja (New Years Eve) is days away and I’m really excited. I look forward to some old fashioned quality time with la familia. Its the night my Puerto Rican family parties loud, bailan con todo corazon (dance their hearts out), laugh and maybe even have some happy tears too. I can assure you, it is the loudest night of the year!
On Noche Vieja the family comes from near and far and gathers around to celebrate the year that passed and the new year to come. We commemorate our accomplishments with cheer and laughter and we throw our arms around one another and give each other a warm abrazo (hug) and acknowledge the difficult times as well while thanking God for making it all the good things possible.
Las melodias (the melodies) of famous musicians of the past like Hector Lavoe and bands like El Gran Combo fill the spaces in our home. The salsa music stays on blast as my uncle (the DJ) mans the CD changer as he coordinates each dance to his liking. Feet move across the living room floor as if it were a grand salsa ballroom. We sweat as we dance while the snow covers the streets outside.
Laughter, voices, and Latin beats could be heard across the town as my family welcomes the new year Puerto Rican style. Some things never change and I am thankful for the things that stay the same. It makes everything make sense.
Here are some New Years Eve traditions I have followed in the past:
- Make sure the house is nice and clean for the welcoming of the New Year.
- We make sure that all laundry is done and no dirty laundry is left behind.
- Once the clock strikes twelve we kiss our loved ones while the children bang on pots and pans.
- Eat 12 grapes before the stroke of midnight.
- Wear my underwear backwards.
- Keep loads of cash in my wallet.
- Throw a piece of jewelry in my champagne glass at time of toasting.
One tradition stays the same and that’s family being together for such a celebration and at the end of the day I am thankful for being alive, for having a gorgeous daughter and family, for being healthy and having great friends and readers I can share my life and well wishes with.
May God shower us with his blessings for the New Year and may 2011 be a joyous and healthy one above all.
Take good care and have a Happy New Year! Wepa!
What traditions do you and your family keep on New Years Eve?