Learn what's behind the five most popular cabals to welcome the new year – Bolivia Verifies
Learn what's behind the five most popular cabals to welcome the new year

Bolivia Verifies

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Learn what's behind the five most popular cabals to welcome the new year

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The color of underwear, the 12 grapes at midnight or strolling with a suitcase, they are part of the beliefs that are transmitted by each generation for this season

From wearing underwear to twelve grapes at midnight, at this time even the most skeptical performs one of these rituals.

"We did something wrong at the end of the year", it can be the analysis of thousands of people who believe strongly in the cabals of the season when making an analysis of what happened on 2020 and is that a large majority thinks that this has not been a good year, perhaps unforgettable in the history of mankind. Superstitions are part of our cultures and in the end of the year season, is when they surface the most, some come even from the Middle Ages.

Here we review the five most used cabals in Bolivia this season and try to verify in our style a little of their origins, although not all have a historical source, but a high reach in our region.

1.- The color of underwear

Choosing the underwear we will wear to welcome the New Year may be more important than you think, at least for those who believe in superstitions.

For example, according to the kabbalah, red underwear is what ensures love for the next year, while the one in yellow is the one that will make us not lack money.

One of the theories takes us to the Middle Ages, time when the color red was "forbidden" for being a symbol of "witchcraft", but in winter when everything seemed to be dead for the cold seasons, became a symbol of "blood and life".

At that time, people believed that red attracted "good luck", but being "forbidden" they decided to use it on garments that were not seen, as in underwear, thus growing the tradition that is maintained, as reflected in a article EME women's magazine.

With Bolivia Verifica we look for if there is any academic study that states these statements and we find the one carried out by the Complutense University of Madrid entitled: Colors in the Middle Ages, splendour, matter and meaning.

As for the symbolism, in the case of the color red, it has a number of connotations among which it was used to represent fire, to the fervor of blood and the warmth of divine love.

It was the color of the Holy War and also of martyrdom. However, it also represented negative connotations, "associated with the fire of hell and the sin of lust, as love badly channeled into bodily pleasures", refers to this study.

I mean, it has some relation to the version that belief arises in this era, when the color red had a strong symbolism related to love, blood and life, in addition to the prohibitions that anyone can use it, so it could lead to its use in underwear.

But not only red is used in this season for underwear; For example, of yellow symbolize luck, money and abundance. White garments refer to health and peace, according to beliefs. Over the years, expanded the range of colors and beliefs, depending on the place.

Another belief refers that the ritual is more effective yes, In addition, underwear is "given away".

2.- the 12 grapes at midnight

eat 12 Grapes, one by one to the 00.00 of the new year, is one of the traditions that is most performed in Bolivia and in different countries of the world.

Popular belief indicates that each grape represents a month of the year for which a wish should be made. I mean, one wish per month.

one report bbc says the tradition of eating twelve grapes exactly at midnight came to Latin America from Spain.

even, one of the most emblematic Spanish groups of Latin pop in the 90 "Mecano", refers to this tradition in the lyrics of "One more year", a musical classic of the christmas season.

According to the book “Spain”, by American journalist Jeff Koehler, there are two theories about the origins of this ancient custom.

The first dates back to the decade of 1880. According to newspapers of the time, the Spanish bourgeois class, imitating the French, began celebrating New Year's Eve by eating grapes and drinking sparkling wine.

“A short time later, this custom was adopted by certain Madrilenians who went to the Puerta del Sol –Madrid- to hear the midnight bells and, most likely with irony or as a mockery, eating grapes just like the upper class”, writes Koehler in a article of the year 2013 for U.S. radio NPR.

The second theory is from a few decades later, in 1909. According to this second hypothesis, the producers of Alicante, in the southeast of Spain, had in 1909 a "surplus" harvest of white grapes of the typical variety of the place, calls Aledo, in reference to the municipality from which they are produced.

According to the BBC report, to the low price of the grape in Aledo was added the "creative" way of selling it. This product was offered as "the lucky grape".

  1. Take out your bags

travel! This is one of the main desires of thousands of people, who believe the action of taking out a suitcase at midnight to walk with it, will serve to have a traveling year.

People who believe in this ritual ensure that the bigger the ride, further you will travel in the beginning year. And they say that carrying the passport inside the suitcase is important if the person wants to travel abroad. This is a Latin tradition, as referred to in article from journey page Coca Cola.

4.- Sweeping away bad energies

Yes, this end of the year there will be a lot to sweep away, if we take into account all the accumulated energies of 2020. Tradition refers to doing a cleaning at home on 31 of December and throw away what no longer serves us, helps to "multiply" everything good in the year that begins.

There are other beliefs that this action is to ward off bad vibrations from the home.

"With new aroom, at dawn and always from the inside out to expel all the negative energy that accumulated in the past months", says a special of the newspaper Clarín of Argentina.

There is no specific study that gives certainties of the origin of this tradition that spreads throughout Latin America.

5.- Candles

One of the main customs of the Christmas season is to place candles in our homes. According to tradition, the use of a lit candle to receive the year guarantees "harmony and peace" in the home.

The Roman Catholic Herald newspaper, indicates in a article that in ancient times candles illuminated the tombs of martyrs.

"There is evidence that candles or oil lamps were lit in the tombs of saints and martyrs since 200".

According to this article, the candle represents our prayers offered in faith that become the "light of God".

According to this article, with the light of faith, "We plead with our Lord for our prayers or with a saint to pray with us".

So we show you five of the main beliefs that are realized at this time, especially in Bolivia; while there are more, we think that these summarize a little what happens in hundreds of houses in the passage from New Year's Eve to the new year.

For example, there are also the traditions of opening the doors, of eating lentils, to pour water, to write a list of negative things and a list of positive things, among the main.

The only thing we have left to tell you is that beyond the superstitions you may have for New Year's Eve is that you have a great 2021!