Friday, December 20, 2013

Expats in Colombia on the holidays

Some recent Expats opinions regarding the holidays:
DaveG: What is the typical celebration for New Years Eve in Colombia? I'll be in Bogotá when the clock hits 12 so wondering where and what is recommended?

MawdsJeff: I have had 26 New Years with my Colombian wife! At the strike of midnight you eat 12 grapes, SLOWLY asking for a wish each time, NOT just for yourself, for another person as wear yellow underclothes (pants) for good luck.......also wear something NEW............the house is cleared of bad atmosphere with incense in a gadget like they use in the Catholic go out the front door with suitcases, walk a short distance and come back, this is to help you have enough money to have a holiday in the New Year!......To attract wealth, get TWO mirrors, (the dressing table one does as one of them). You draw out some banknotes (if you have any left!!) and place them between the two mirrors. You will see dozens and dozens of notes disappearing in the distance. Oh yes, when the grapes are served for everyone, you drink champagne or substitute and toast the New Year in. I LOVE these traditions we do every year!! Geoff

DaveG: Any other suggestions for things to do in Bogotá during January? With a population of over 6.5 million in the city, there must be something fun to do.

Masterita: After January 1st most people clear out of the city for vacation. The only big event going on in Bogota is the Bull Fighting. Just keep in mind the people that leave the city for vacation are the ones that can afford to... so that means there are less targets for thieves. So be careful while walking the streets and taking cabs. 

TheLocoGringo: News Years Eve, Christmas, 20 of July, Day of the Virgin, Battle of Boyaca, festival of the plastic chairs, you name the holiday, get drunk, listen to champeta so loud the speakers distort, stay up until 3 in the morning, puke your guts out the next day, look forward to the next festival......

Brson: You know Geoff, its interesting: the custom you described came over to Latin America from Spain, my husband relates. It was familiar to me from Mexico, where you would wear red undergarments for good luck and yellow for money. In any case, the ritual served as precursor to celebrations until dawn. We're observing the identical anniversary you are, wishing you twice the happiness in future! Did you all see the festive Bogota holiday train sponsored by DAVIVIENDA? Here in Medellin and surroundings fireworks resound from now through past New Years. Although ostensibly illegal in Colombia, there are hosts of fireworks stores selling "Juegos de Fuegos Artificiales" seemingly on every corner. The meanest of them is also extremely expensive. Whatever your customs, language or inclination, be of good cheer and happiest of holidays to ALL. -- Priscilla B.

Soystar1: Locogringo, I think you forgot the part where you bring all the food and drinks and they invite everyone to partake of the goods. Then, get drunk and listen to music all night long. Oh wait, that was yesterday lol. As I learned last year, gifts are mostly given to small children and not adults. So, if you are going to splurge please don't expect reciprocity. Just smile say goodnight. FYI: The new Colombian law regarding drinking and driving went into effect today. Apparently, all my Colombian friends are abuzz about the new driving law that is very severe for a one beer buzz. Hope this holiday season is joyous one.

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