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A traditional Aņo Viejo, New Year's Eve, celebration is spent with lots of family and friends. But before the party begins Puerto Ricans spend the entire day cleaning the house, yard, cars, and even sweeping the street. Why? It is believed that whatever the condition in which the New Year finds our property, that is how our property will stay for the rest of the year. Out with the old and in with the new.
Make your New Year's Puerto Rican style gathering an event to remember. Our family decorated with white lites everywhere and silver and gold accents. Streamers and balloons hung from the ceiling. Silver and white curly ribbon made it look special.
Buy "estrellitas" a kind of fireworks that is safe to use and legal in most cities. Estrellitas or Sparklers are long thin dark sticks that are lit at one end and sparkle like stars. Buy the 20 inch-long sparklers because they last long enough for everyone to light up at the same time. Just hold them at least a foot away from anything and the sparks will be safe. Use a wind-proof lighter to light. These can be purchased on the internet or purchased at party stores. Light them when the countdown begins.
And also pass out baggies with 12 grapes that people need to start eating when there are 12 seconds to the New Year. Those who can eat them by Midnight will have good luck that year.
After all the hugs and kisses are over have someone recite the poem "El Brindis del Bohemio" listed on our site - or listen to a recording. This is the Puerto Rican tradition.
Serve bacalaitos because it's an inexpensive and real Puerto Rican party food. Toast the year with Cidra.
We at El Boricua wish you all a very Prospero Año Nuevo!
Ivonne and Javier Figueroa