The holiday season continues. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your family and dearest ones. Now it’s time to get ready for the New Year celebration. Would you like to know how people celebrate New Year in the Dominican Republic?
To start with, unlike Christmas, New Year is more often celebrated among friends, rather than in family. The New Year celebration starts at home with a copious dinner and then continues in squares, streets, bars, discos and restaurants after the midnight. There is one important Spanish word that you’d probably find useful to know. Cañonazo normally means firing of cannons but in the Dominican Republic it means all New Year fireworks too. That’s why it’s common to hear “let’s meet after the cañonazo“.
As for the New Year dinner table, it’s similar to the Christmas dinner that we’ve covered in the previous post. Probably the only additional element is champagne or cava which is always consumed at midnight. When the midnight comes, people hug and kiss each other wishing all the best. Some Dominican families conserve a Spanish tradition of eating red grapes with each stroke of midnight. It’s believed that if you make a wish and manage to eat in time 12 grapes symbolizing 12 lucky months, you will have good luck in the coming year.
Furthermore, the New Year celebration also means a huge cleaning in the Dominican Republic. People consider important to enter the New Year with all new and clean. But no sweeping and cleaning is allowed on the same New Year’s Day. Locals believe that one can sweep away their good luck together with dirt. And in order to attract good luck and new spirit to one’s home, they leave windows and doors open at midnight.
Finally, the US New Year celebration traditions also have had some impact on the Dominican culture. Thus, it isn’t unusual to see people write their New Year’s resolutions. The Dream City team has created a special wish book that will help you to know what will happen to you in the future. Don’t hesitate to try your luck and see what is waiting for you in 2019. Feel free to share it with your friends to have more fun.