When the New Year knocks at the door, every country celebrates it in its own way, following its own culture and traditions.
They may vary from place to place but the spirit of welcoming the New Year with a bang remains the same. Just like all other countries, the Dominican Republic also follows its own traditions to celebrate the special day of New Year or Año Nuevo.
Usually, New year celebrations are done at home with family members and close friends. The most important part of the occasion is cleaning the home before the New Year rolls in. Traditionally, it is believed that New Year brings a new life and hence it should be welcomed in a proper manner by discarding everything that is old. Cleaning every part of the house is done in preparation of the New Year in order to bring forth good luck and cleanse the surroundings.
Every corner of the home is cleaned and every inch of dirt is dusted away before the New Year´s day. No one touches the broom on the New Year day as sweeping anything on that special day might sweep your luck away. Some Dominicans also go to the extent of repainting their houses in order to make it look perfect and welcome lucky spirits. Most Dominicans burn incense sticks to give the home a divine look.
Many efforts are made in order to ensure that ones home is fit to welcome the New Year. For example, at Midnight on New Years it is customary to keep all doors and windows open so that the evil spirits may exit allowing for the good ones to enter. Old brooms are left outside the doors to later be discarded. Twelve grapes are also hung outside and wishes are cast upon them; every grape represents a month of the year. Some may go as far as to have their homes blessed with Holy Water
Colors are given a lot of importance during the New Year celebration. We believe that the color of your dress on this particular day depicts what facet of your life you would like to improve for example, those wearing green would like to improve their finances, those in yellow their productivity, those in white their health and so on. Most colors have a corresponding meaning.
The day of the 1st is usually celebrated at home and consist of excessive eating along with music and dancing. The entire family comes together to exchange gifts, conversation and good wishes. New Years resolutions are discussed and time is shared. New Years with loved ones not only makes the day special but adds much needed spirit to the year
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