Spending New Years Eve in Chile? I hope you brought your yellow undies!
New Year: New love, more money, new adventures!
Yes you got it right, Chileans have a dozen unique traditions to welcome the new year. One of them: wearing yellow undies on the 31st of December. Strange? Wait until you see the uncountable sellers in the streets of Santiago in the last days of December. You want to have some luck in your lovelife the next year or even get engaged? It’s the first chilean tradition you should share! Worn upside down and then changed at 00:00 AM or even got as a present you will be even luckier next year.
If this seems to crazy to you, at least make sure to hug (or even kiss?) someone from the other sex as the first person in the new year. You will see, sometimes the luck needs some help!
But not only love is important right?
Who actually is looking for some economic changes in the next year, might follow the common way of putting 1000 Pesos in your shoe. Why this? It’s supposed to multiply in the next year!
As well it helps to put a gold ring into your glass before enjoying the champagne! But please don’t swallow the ring. (;
On my first New Year’s Eve in Chile I was definitely uncertain about people strolling around the city with suitcase in a perfectly fitting party outfit or even a casual pyjama. Are these people fleeing from all the parties or are they afraid of fireworks? Well would you get it? Of course it’s a tradition as well, but how should I have known. You are dreaming of more trips? Well you will after you got to know the beauty of Chile. So get your empty suitcase, walk around the next block and collect all the luck for your next journey coming up. As simple as that.
Sounds like a wonderful upcoming year already right? As well it’s important to wear something new at the last and first party! Not too difficult? Chilenos really take in some effort to dress up for the never ending party night! So dress up and get started!
What to eat on New Year’s Eve?
Most importantly: Grapes & Lentils.
Actually 12 Grapes, one for each upcoming month. Is it sour? Is it sweet? I think you know now, how lucky you are really going to be! The lentils dishes of Chile are worldwide known and usually served during the big meal at New Year’s Eve. And you know why Chileans are eating lentils? Of course for more luck in the next year!
Coming to food, Chileans are way more family based when it comes to New Years Eve celebrations, than other cultures. It’s very usual to have a big family dinner in the evening, before the party starts. Also to fill up your stomach. Some families also stay at home and watch the fireworks together or are waiting for the final countdown on tv. In any occasion a Cola de mono won’t be missing. Yes, you got it right! It’s called monkey’s tail. This drink is made out of aguardiente, coffee, milk, sugar, and cloves. Cola Mono is also a typical christmas drink in Chile. (How to celebrate Christmas in Chile?)
What else should you remember staying in Chile over the turn of the year?
No matter how you celebrate – remember to have a fishy dish afterwards! Am I joking? How could I. Chileans really believe that a good fish soup or a whole meal prevents the hangover the next day! A wonderful idea or not? Imagine spending your first day of the year enjoying the sun and some leftovers from the big dinner without any headache! Honestly, in the morning of New Year’s Day you will find many people gathering in the central market- the main fish market- of Santiago. All with the same intent.
Let the Party begin!
As you may have recognized Chileans love to party! And what occasion could possibly be better than a New Year’s Celebration in summer? Right – None. That’s why you won’t have problems finding a party here! I mean, we are dancing in the streets?
Where you should go?
Well the biggest party is taking place in Valparaiso!
So if you are around, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to really celebrate a New Year’s Beach Party! People dancing in the streets, sharing the moment.
Plus: In the harbour of Valpo (how Chileans call their arty city) you will get to see the biggest fireworks of South America!
How to get to Valparaiso? Find out the easiest way HERE.
Not in Valparaiso? Don’t worry! As I mentioned, there are parties everywhere…
Santiago – A Carnival of Celebrations
The Entel Tower, which is found opposite La Moneda, is the hub for all festivities in Santiago on New Year’s Eve and by far the largest celebration due to its fireworks display. All along the Street Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins a huge street party, with live music is happening! But don’t forget to bring your own streamers, silly hat and champagne. Yes, it’s more like a carnival celebration, but definitely a lot of fun! You will be swept along waiting for the new year.
If you are close to Las Condes, there is another big display at the end of the metro line 1 in Los Dominicos. The fireworks are set off from the top of Calan hill nearby. Usually people bring tables, chairs, food and the obligatory silly hats. It’s very typical for families and definitely a chilean experience!
Of course there are a lot of Bars and Restaurants which organise events, including fancy dinners and parties. Maybe even the Hotel you are staying at?
Viña del Mar
If you want to escape the crowded celebrations in Valparaiso – Viña is another popular destination for New Year’s Eve! You can relax in the sunshine on the sandy beaches by day, continue your celebrations on the beach: With a great view of the Valparaíso fireworks, as the bay of Valparaíso curves around! Could it be any better?
Of course you can also celebrate New Years Eve in Iquique, basically it’s a big beach party here. Doesn’t sound that bad right? Enjoy the fireworks and the street parties in the northern city! Why bother going clubbing when it’s so warm outside and the atmosphere is just amazing!
San Pedro de Atacama
You might have heard- Bars and Discos are forbidden in San Pedro. Nevertheless, people find their own way to celebrate. And there are some places you surely can go to. Mostly tourists are gathering in the streets waiting for the firework displays! Some restaurants as well have special offers on this night of the year.
So are you ready for an unforgettable Chilean experience?
Feliz año nuevo!