Bolivia celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
Bolivian New Year’s celebrations include many traditional elements brought over from Spain. Getting good luck and avoiding bad luck take centre stage as the new year approaches.
Eating pork for dinner is considered a way to bring prosperity in the year ahead. Consuming 12 grapes while making a separate wish for each grape is also a good luck tradition. To be lucky in love, you wear red underpants backwards, while luck in finances requires yellow underpants.
Counting money is also supposed to guarantee a prosperous new year. And for safe traveling in the year ahead, you need to put all your luggage just outside your front door at midnight.