) is celebrated on December 31 with gusto in Santiago. Valparaiso hosts a three day festival culminating in the amazing “New Year’s by the Sea” event featuring the biggest New Year fireworks display in Latin America, witnessed by up-to a million visitors who flood the shoreline and hillsides with a bay view. The event is accompanied by a level of good humored superstition and luck-bringing rituals, ranging from wearing yellow underwear, placing money in a shoe and walking around the block with luggage to attract travel. Negative past events are written on paper and released or burned, while wish lists are hidden away for the future. Visitors may also see revelers eating lentils or one grape for each of the twelve bells of midnight, or drinking champagne from a glass containing a gold ring for good luck.
- Bob Samanche
- February 4, 2020