NYE Traditions in Mexico

One aspect of the holiday season is that the traditions are non-linear, and many cultures celebrate them differently from one another. Taking a trip south of the border in late December? Thinking of ringing in the festivities at Verde Kitchen? Well, we’re here to help you prepare for either one. Today we’ll be taking a look at how New Year’s Eve is celebrated in Mexico. Salud! 


The first thing that you should be aware of is what the celebration of New Year’s is named. As it’s always important to have some prior knowledge of the customs and traditions of anywhere you decide to travel. In Mexico, New Year’s is referred to as Nochevieja, which translates to “Old Night.” The purpose of the celebration is one of transition, as we welcome the new and say goodbye to the old. 


There might be a variety of dishes served at any celebration on New Year’s eve, but one constant that you’ll always encounter is a dish known as Bacalao. This is salted codfish served with tomatoes and olives. This dish was brought over during the Spanish colonization and continues to be adhered to every year. 


If you’re planning on celebrating anywhere near Oaxaca, you’re in for a real treat. A traditional offering at New Year’s is Buneulos. These crispy fritters are served on a ceramic dish which is stomped on after the sweets are eaten. This is a symbolic gesture that represents the destruction of an unwanted past as we look to the new year with optimism and rejuvenation. 


Perhaps this tradition might seem strange, but when you consider that many Latin traditions are closely tied to the Roman Catholic faith, this makes a lot of sense. The ancient Romans believes grapes were a symbol of fertility, and it’s a tradition that 12 grapes are eaten to represent the 12 months of the upcoming year. A sweet grape foretells a wonderful month, and a sour one represents a sorrowful month. This also ties in with the Roman tradition that family trees breed two types of individuals, the sweet and the bad. 

A Ring in the Glass 

One tradition that’s practiced the world over is a toast to the new year. In Mexico, it’s normal to do this with a ring at the bottom of a champagne flute. It’s customary to wish them a happy new year and grant them a hug before taking the ring out. Feliz Ano Nuevo! 

Verde Kitchen 

For the best in authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails to match, Verde Kitchen is here to serve up the perfect fiesta every time you come to visit us. For a menu and much more, drop us a line at verdekitchen.com.

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