Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When Luck Isn't Enough

We’re only two weeks into the new year and for some, the celebrations continue. So to honor those who love wiping the slate clean and need some preparation for this year’s end (come on, it will be December before you know it!), here are some rituals popular in most Latin American countries.

What color are your undies? For those who want to be swept off their feet and have their desires for a grand love met, wear red underpants. If you’d prefer happiness and money, go for the yellow. If it’s prosperity you want, green’s the go and pink will help you out in the friendship stakes. White is for peace and hope. Or, if you’re after a new wardrobe, wear new clothes on NYE or put your underpants on backward (the color won’t matter). New lingerie will give you luck, but if someone buys it for you, you’ll get even more luck (or lucky!). 

Itchy feet? If you have the travel bug and need some help in that department, grab a suitcase and walk around the block at the stroke of midnight. The heavier the suitcase, the further you’ll travel. Others like to walk in and out the front door with the suitcase as the night progresses. 

Ball and chain, anyone? If getting hitched is on your agenda, then you’ll need to sit down and stand up 12 times when the clock strikes midnight. Tie a red ribbon around a photograph of the person you want to marry (don’t choose Antonio Banderas—he’s mine), and then sleep with the photo under your pillow. If you do this, then you increase your chances of the person asking you to marry them before the year’s end.

Business troubles? Lentils are the way to go if you want to improve the prosperity of your business. Eat a spoonful of lentils (preferably cooked) or give a handful to a friend. Some people like to take money out of their pocket and count it as the clock hits midnight while others prefer to stash money inside their shoes.

Broken heart? To avoid bad luck, pain and tears, fill a glass with water and throw it onto the street. Write down all the crappy things that have happened to you in the past year, and burn the list to erase the past. And as the clock strikes twelve, don’t forget to yell out “I will be happy this year!”

Holding a flame? Peace for your family and friends can be helped along with burning blue candles. Yellow brings abundance, red is for passion, green for health and white will help you possess a clear mind. And if you’re lacking in the brains department, try burning an orange candle.

Disharmony in the home? A clean house with dust-free corners and nothing broken will stop disagreements. Cinnamon sticks will attract luck while sweets in a dish will bring love. If you place three stones on the doorstep then you’re ensuring health, love and money. Throw in some thorns with your holiday decorations and you’re family will have good luck and peace.

Lacking in love? If your dinner table is decorated with your finest tableware and has at least one red candle burning, then there will always be love in your family. Something gold on the table will attract prosperity and before you eat dinner, make sure everyone eats at least one teaspoon of cooked lentils for prosperity.

Want to bubble from happiness? Toasting the New Year with bubbly is common amongst many cultures, and in many places the bubbles represent happiness. If you’re after prosperity, throw a gold ring into your champagne before you drink it. For the tee-totallers, bite the ring instead (I’m not sure how prosperous it is if you have to fork over money to the dentist if you break your teeth). For those with sweet teeth (that aren’t broken), make sure the baked dessert has three coins in it. Whoever gets the slice of cake with the coins has a prosperous year ahead of them.

Wishing away your life? Don’t worry about popping open a bottle of vino. When the countdown is on, eat 12 grapes. Pause after each one, make a wish and wait for the luck to happen (one of the wishes might be not to choke on a gob full of grapes). 

So the next New Years Eve when someone asks you what color underwear you have, don’t be offended—especially if the asker is from a Latin American country. With so many chances to increase your luck in love, money and happiness, why wouldn’t you start planning now?

What’s your favorite ritual to create wealth, love or happiness?


  1. Well, I think we already knew we had a similar taste in men from reading each other's books, but don't be stealing my man Antonio! I've been claiming him for a very long time!

    My Brazilian friend makes us do the 12 grapes each year.

  2. Maybe you can borrow him for a bit. ;-) The grapes one is fun, isn't it? So have you learnt any good luck rituals on your travels?

  3. Alli, what's the charm for selling a book? I'll buy 365 panties of that color!!! For every day of the year. And as to the flames, I'm getting all of them, except maybe red. I've got enough passion in my life, but I could sure use green and yellow. And as to white and orange -- boy, I need a lot of those to boost my brain power.
    Interestingly enough, in Chinese culture, red is the symbol of health, and green, I believe, is for the mind. So it is in the Indian Chakra system, if I remember it right.

  4. Lina, I wish I knew what the charm for selling a book is. If I discover it, I'll be sure to let you know! Interesting the color codings for different cultures, huh? I'm glad to know you have enough passion in your life!