Tag Archives: New Years Eve

New Years Traditions In Mexico

New Years Traditions In Mexico

Traditions around holidays vary from country to country. Here in Mexico there are a few interesting ones. And yes, I have gone along with some of them but I won’t tell you which ones. They were kind of fun and maybe you might want to try some of these. They are definitely different and I have never done any of them when in the USA or Canada at this time of the year.

Eating twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight is one of the most common practices I’ve found here. As the clock chimes, eating the grapes signifies that good luck lies ahead in the coming year.

Taking an empty suitcase for a walk around the block is also believed to bring good luck in the new year. When I lived in Guadalajara my neighbors did this.

Another interesting one is all about underwear. Red signifies love and passion, yellow is for prosperity and happiness, green is for wealth and well-being, and white is for hope and peace.

And then there are lentils. Eating a mouthful is sure to bring you good fortune in the coming year.

Here’s a fun one. Throw a pail of water out the window. Bid farewell to the old year and welcome in the new year.

Sweeping. Sweep the old year out the door at midnight and sweep twelve coins into the house for wealth and prosperity.

Burning candles surrounded by lentils, beans, rice, other grains and cinnamon is another one. Once the candles have burned down, the waxy foods are collected and buried in the ground to ensure abundance and prosperity.

Mopping the floor with water and cinnamon before midnight in preparation for the new year means all the old stuff is gone and there’s lots of room for new beginnings.

Fireworks is one of my favorite traditions. Yes we have them in Canada and the USA. But here in Mexico not only do they light up the sky with the usual professional pyrotechnic displays, but it seems like children of all ages are roaming the streets setting off firecrackers. In one neighborhood I lived in there was actually a wheel of fireworks that shot into the crowds of people. I was amazed that no one got hurt. After all, we were standing merely inches away from this wheel.

Champagne and kissing at midnight———–you have competition!

Happy 2023! May your year be filled with Health, Peace, Love and Prosperity!

2022 Week 1

2022 Week 1

On January 1st I was in Jilotzingo. Not sure exactly what time I fell asleep after the New Years celebrations, but I do recall sleeping most of the day. Even the coffee refused to perform its magic to revive me.

On January 2nd Angie and I arrived at her home in Pachuca. After being with a house full of people all weekend, I really appreciated the tranquility, especially the garden.

Angie celebrated a birthday on the 4th.

On the 5th it was time for Rosca de Reyes.

I arrived back in Aguascalientes on the 7th.

While I was enjoying the beautiful sunny weather here in Mexico, it was a very different situation in Leavenworth, Washington. My quaint Bavarian village was labeled a disaster area as a snowfall of over four feet crippled the area. Mountain passes were closed and the National Guard was brought in to help dig out the town.

I’m so thankful I’m back in Mexico this winter. Last winter I stayed in Leavenworth due to Covid, and I can count the times I wore boots on one hand. Very different this year.

We were all eager to slam the door on 2021. Between global warming and the virus mutations, I wonder what’s in store for us this year. Only time will tell.

Adios 2021 Bienvenido 2022


I had a fabulous New Years Eve with an amazing family in Jilotzingo. Actually it lasted the entire weekend and today we are finally arrived in Pachuca.

We left Tlalnepantla Friday morning. Traffic was heavy and once we left the highway, it was slow going as we drove through interesting small pueblos.

We arrived in Jilotzingo where we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch of chipotle pollo. We then began the project of stringing grapes on skewers. Here is a photo of Kamira doing this.

A total of 60 were made, one for each person attending the fiesta that night. 12 grapes, twelve months of the year, twelve wishes.

Here is a photo of our hostess. This dynamic lady in her 80s prepared a leg of pork, a turkey, lasagna, ponche and other dishes. Also in the photo are her daughter Liliana and son-in-law Ventura.

Here is a photo of the table. I thought of Canada and the limits of gatherings to 10 people. Happy I’m here in Mexico. Wasn’t able to capture all 60 in one photo.

Here I am in a photo with my friend Angie, her son Ventura and his wife Liliana.

Countdown to midnight followed by toasts and hugs. No idea what time we actually got to sleep, but I do remember texting friends at around 4 am while sipping cognac.

The following photo is dedicated to my friends up north who are either in awe of my nomadic lifestyle or critical of it. The tradition here in Mexico is to walk around the block after midnight carrying a suitcase. This signifies the hope for travel in the coming year. So here I am!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


This year I’m writing my last post of the year from Mexico City. It’s been quite a year and I must say I’m looking forward to 2022.

Back in December of 2010 I took a train trip in the Copper Canyon and met this amazing family. Nine years ago I came to Mexico City for New Years and although we’ve kept in touch, we haven’t seen each other at all. And it’s been a fabulous reunion!

Angie and I are about the same age. When we met, we were both teaching English here in Mexico. Her son Ventura and his wife were also on that train trip, along with her daughter Kamira. Ventura spoke some English, but Liliana and Kamira spoke only Spanish. I had only been in Mexico for three months, so my Spanish was extremely very limited.

Today I can hold my own and converse fluently in Spanish with everyone. However they are all learning English now and are interested in practicing this language as well. So it’s been great talking in both languages.

I arrived in Mexico City yesterday and am staying at Ventura’s. Tomorrow we are going to Jilotzingo where we will spend New Years Eve with Liliana’s family.

On Sunday we return to Mexico City. Angie and I will then travel to Pachuca, where Angie lives now. So my first post of 2022 will be from Pachuca.

To all my readers and followers, best wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2022.

My Weekend in Culiacan

My Weekend in Culiacan

My travels began with an Uber to Central on Saturday where I boarded an ETN/Turistar at 10:30 in the morning. The drive to Culiacan was enjoyable. Traffic was light and we actually arrived early. Juan picked me up and minutes later I was home with my family.

I hadn’t seen them since April and was amazed at how tall my nietos had grown. At 8, 5 and 3 they are active and rambunctious and I wish I had only a smidgeon of their energy.


On Saturday night friends arrived with their two sons. While 5 energetic boys played together, we adults indulged in a rousing game of Maraton, similar to Trivial Pursuit but played in Spanish. By some miracle this gringa actually won the game! Perhaps it was all the tacos, Mexican candy and cerveza that fortified me as the game took just short of 4 hours to play.

The next morning we were up early as we went to church. Juan plays the keyboard and Lucila sings. Here’s a shot of Angelito helping out on the keyboard.


After church we went to a delightful restaurant called La Cocinita del Medio. While we waited for our table, the kids had a great time in the play area.


Lunch was delicious…………..machaca, frijoles, huevos, tamales and tortillas. On our way back to the car, we stopped to check out some of the animals.

Sunday was Lucila’s birthday as well as being New Years Eve. After a sumptuous dinner and the smashing of a pinata it was time for cake.


Out came the traditional grapes before midnight. And soon it was 2018, although my two youngest nietos weren’t quite awake at that hour. Indeed Jose Agustin had asked me to tuck him in shortly after 11 pm.


Some of the guests slept over and the next morning there were 5 boys having breakfast together.


Visiting with family continued throughout the day and evening. We had dinner with family at the home of Juan’s father. Late at night Angelito was still raring to go and posed for this picture.


All too soon it was Tuesday and I was headed to Central to board a bus back to Mazatlan. It was definitely the nicest New Years weekend I have had in years and I look forward to my next visit to Culiacan.

New Years Eve Nostalgia

New Years Eve Nostalgia

Another new year has begun with the arrival of 2015. This is a time when people reflect upon their lives and propose various resolutions for the future. It’s also a nostalgic time of year for me.

I remember vividly New Years Eve of 1996. We were in San Antonio, Texas. We had a lovely dinner at Marie Callenders and brought a pie back to our condo. We had one of our friendly family card games. At midnight we toasted 1997 with champagne and watched on television a hotel in Las Vegas being blown up. But it’s a bittersweet memory as it was the last winter vacation we took together as a family. It was also the last time we all rang in a new year together. My children were now teenagers and wanted to spend New Years Eve with their own friends instead. 

My first New Years Eve in Mexico in 2010 marked the end of my train trip through the mountains up north. Our tour group had a delicious dinner in the dining room of the hotel in El Fuerte where Zorro was filmed. We then watched some amazing fireworks.

The next year I was back in Culiacan with my Mexican family.


The following year I was in Mexico City with Angie and her family. I met these wonderful people when I was on my train trip two years before.


Last year I welcomed 2014 with my neighbors. And this year I rang in 2015 with my housemates and friends.


We had a lovely dinner together, chatting and listening to music. And at midnight we toasted 2015………Mexico, The Netherlands, Australia and Canada represented.

Toasting 2015

As for my own resolutions, I have but one. I am determined that 2015 will be the best year ever. I eagerly anticipate the many adventures that lie ahead in the future. I will not stress over the past but will remain rooted in the present.


Feliz Ano Nuevo! Happy New Year!



Christmas Break 2014


I’m on Christmas break here in Mexico. And the first week has flown by way too quickly. Christmas has come and gone, and 2015 is just around the corner.

In Tlaquepaque the Christmas tree near El Parian shines brightly at night.

Tlaquepaque (3)

But this year I spent Christmas in the quaint little pueblo of Tototlan, about an hour away from Guadalajara. One of my former housemates has a home there on the outskirts of the town.

Omar's House (2)

We spent a relaxing few days visiting and watching movies. I also cooked a traditional Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and stuffing.


I took a walk one afternoon to a nearby park, marvelling at the scenery along the way.


Surprisingly there was just a handful of children although there was an abundance of play structures and basketball courts.



There were some men working on a wall.


There was also a man working on an interesting metal structure.


We walked down to the plaza one morning and had delicious gorditas for breakfast. We strolled through the plaza afterwards and I was delighted to see several pinatas hanging.


There was a beautiful nativity scene outside of the church.


But all too soon it was time to head for the bus station and bid adios to Tototlan.

The Arch

I returned home Friday afternoon with the intent to spend a quiet evening at home. Instead I wound up going to El Lugar Secreto to hear my favorite band play. I met the lead singer when I first came to Tlaquepaque three years ago when I was in need of an immigration lawyer. A lawyer by day, a musician at night and a great friend!


Week two of Christmas Break is sure to fly by just as quickly as the first week. My housemates and I are planning a dinner for New Years Eve, complete with a pinata to smash to welcome 2015. We’ve also invited other friends over as well.

We will go along with the twelve grape tradition, but we won’t be walking the streets after midnight with suitcases. And the red underwear? Yes, there are some pretty strange customs around here. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the fireworks!


Yes, Christmas break is certainly different now that I’m in Mexico. Frigid temperatures and drifts of snow back in Winnipeg are becoming distant memories. New traditions and new adventures are what life is all about. And I eagerly look forward to 2015 and what lies ahead.

Happy New Year!