Mexico 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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In Mexico, the holiday season ramps up over a month-long period, starting with Immaculate Conception Day in early December and culminating with New Year’s Day on 1 January and then Day of the Holy Kings on 6 January.
On New Year’s Eve, people generally attend New Year parties to reconnect with friends and relatives. They wait until the stroke of midnight to toast with champagne and wish each other a “Feliz año nuevo!”, meaning simply “Happy new year!” Traditionally, some eat 12 grapes during the last 12 seconds of the old year, wear yellow underwear, or walk around the block with a suitcase to bring good luck for the year to come.
The main feast is on New Year’s Eve and is likely to include things like dried, salty codfish, buñuelos, which are fried dough-balls, and fruit punch. There may also be roasted pork, turkey, chicken, rice, tacos, and other tasty dishes. On New Year’s Day, people get together again to eat the leftovers.