6 Fascinating Latino Traditions That Will Blow Your Mind

These traditions stemming from Latin America and the Caribbean will completely blow you away.

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1. Latino Traditions: Puerto Rico New Years

Puerto Ricans honk car horns, blast boat whistles, bang drums and ring church bells in preparation for the new year, and this isn’t just about the celebration itself — it’s a way to ward off evil spirits. 

2. Latino Traditions: Thread on Baby's Forehead

If a baby has the hiccups, most will grab a cup of water and call it a day. Throughout many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, on the other hand, the tradition is to roll a small piece of thread, wet it with saliva and place it on the baby’s forehead. Some say this tradition is a myth, but Dominican grandmas insist on its effectiveness. 

3. Latino Traditions: Mexico Year-Round Saints Celebration

Fascinating! There are 365 churches in Puebla, Mexico alone, yet that’s not the most interesting point. Each day is the day of a saint and is therefore celebrated in the partial church of that saint. 

4. Latino Traditions: Guatemala Burning Devil

Quema del Diablo (Burning of the Devil) is as scary as it sounds. Guatemalans believe the Devil lurks among us and this festivity, which takes place before the December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is Guatemala's way of chasing the Devil away. Marimba bands and fireworks infuse the streets while natives start bonfires to burn effigies of el diablo.

5. Latino Traditions: Ecuador Burning Written Wishes

In Ecuador, people write down their wishes for the new year on a piece of paper and then burn it. Ecuadorians also burn giant effigies, but not for the same reasons as Guatemalans. Instead, the purpose of this tradition is to bid farewell and good riddance to the año viejo.

6. Latino Traditions: Peru Three Potatoes

There’s a tradition in Peru that people believe forecasts what kind of financial year you’ll have. In preparation for the new year, three potatoes are placed under a couch: one peeled, one partially peeled and one with all its skin. The potato with no skin stands for no money, the one that’s partially peeled represents a regular year, and the one with all its skin is pretty much the equivalent of hitting the jackpot.