Tuesday, December 31, 2013

feliz año nuevo! Happy New Year! Costa Rica New Year Traditions blended with our Texas Traditions

As we draw closer to the end of year 2013, we have decide to blend our New Year traditions from our old country to the new one. In Texas, we always eat black-eyed peas with pork and cabbage to encourage luck and prosperity in the New Year. With so many different types of beans grown locally in Costa Rica, we are actually having trouble finding the black eyed- peas. So, after much discussion and compromise, we have decided to mix our old Southern Texas traditions with some new and old Costa Rican traditions. After some internet research, I found some interesting and fun ideas to add to our new New Year Traditions, if not on our plate. 

There is an old and vastly followed New Year tradition of running twice around the house or crossing the neighborhood street with a suitcase or a backpack to ensures travelling in the coming year. Since our kids, Max and Sara just got new backpacks for Christmas, this will be fun for them, and if it works, we will have high hopes of great travels this year. The ladies of Costa Rica tend to follow a tradition of cleaning and sweeping the entire house on December 31, as doing so is believed to sway away all the past evils. Another tradition calls for throwing a pan full of water over one's shoulder, believed to sway away all the bad luck of the past year, bringing good luck in the coming year. Some New Year traditions, amusing and older in belief, are widely practiced among the natives of Costa Rica. One among them is wearing red underwear on New Year with a hope that the coming year will make them meet their spouse or true lover...oooohh..laaalaaa. Another is wearing yellow to encourage good luck in the coming year. 

We have opted to eat twelve grapes at midnight, with each one dedicated to one month of the Old Year, and make wish with every grape to bid farewell to the past. I think I will marinate my grapes in champagne. I only hope I am awake at midnight, even if I must take a nap in between. The feast thrown on New Year's Eve is necessarily and traditionally required to have pierna de cerdo (a leg of pork) as the main course served. We will be having the rack end with loin, quite delicious and very affordable. We are not cheating, just simplifying.  
So after another trip to a different store, we are still out of black-eyed peas. It is a good thing we are in Costa Rica and have plenty of options to chose from as a replacement tradition. So while our kids are ready to party, we are enjoying another breezy day with the insight of future fireworks, and a large parade and party tomorrow in town, followed by 2 weeks of festivities in Palmares, we wish everyone a feliz año nuevo! 

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