New Year’s Day is a holiday in the Dominican Republic as part of celebrations that start on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
In the Dominican Republic, the coming of a new year is all about family, food, and good luck. While there are fireworks and some public events, it’s basically a home-body holiday.
Traditionally, the single most important aspect of preparing for the new year is thoroughly cleaning out your house. All dust, dirt, garbage, and useless clutter must go. Everything deemed “old” is in danger of being discarded as well. It is thought that this kind of cleaning will get rid of bad luck and make room for good luck.
Some people may also repaint their homes on New Year’s Eve, burn incense sticks, open their windows and doors at midnight to let out the bad spirits, and have a priest bless their home with holy water.
It’s also traditional in Dominican Republic to take twelve grapes and make one wish for each month of the year as you eat each grape.