Known as Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve) and Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day) in Mexico, this major national holiday is one of the most exciting annual celebrations in the country. As in the rest of the world, people throughout Mexico will gather together with friends and family to ring in the coming of the new year, sharing memories about what has transpired over the last 12 months and hopes for 2017.
Of course,the local town square is always another great option if you feel like joining in the festivities on New Year’s Eve or need to find a great brunch spot open on New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Eve
Fireworks ringing bells, 12 grapes, family dinners, sparkling wine and music are all things you can expect a lot of on Nochevieja in Mexico. Families and friends often gather for a special, late-night New Year’s Eve supper, then head out on the town afterward to party. At midnight, you’ll hear shouts of “Feliz año nuevo!” as people embrace and set off fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers, or you can take part in an age-old Mexican tradition by eating 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight as you make a wish for the new year.
Traditional foods to enjoy on New Year’s Eve in Mexico include bacalao, a type of dried and salted cod fish, as well as sparkling cider and a hot fruit punch known as ponche, while lentils are believed to bring prosperity over the coming 12 months.
New Year’s Day
Considering you’ll probably be up late (or early? depending how you look at it), we recommend planning your Año Nuevo activities (or lack thereof) ahead of time as well. Whether you would like to spend the day at home in your condo or villa, at the beach or by the pool relaxing, or prefer instead to head out and grab a tasty brunch, it’s best to get a plan together beforehand. Expats and locals tend to break out the leftovers, but if you’re visiting Mexico for the holidays and don’t have this luxury, check with your concierge or some of the local hotels and resorts to find a delicious brunch spot.
New Year’s Day in Mexico is typically pretty quiet,as it is a national holiday and most folks are recuperating from the night before. If you’re feeling energetic, a number of archaeological sites,museums and other tourist attractions will also be open – just call ahead to make sure.
Finally, keep in mind that many businesses are closed entirely or adopt shorter hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Mexico, so it’s always best to call ahead of time when making plans and to take this into account if you happen to be traveling on either of the holidays.