Paraguay celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin 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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In Paraguay, as in other Latin American countries, the holiday season stretches from Christmas to 6 January, which is Three Kings Day. New Year’s Day is right in the middle of the celebrations.
It’s common practice to stay up till midnight to wish each other a happy new year, make toasts with champagne, watch fireworks displays, and make New Year’s resolutions just like in other parts of the world.
During the final twelve moments of the year, it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, one per second, to bring good luck. Walking around the block with a suitcase beginning at midnight is thought to bring traveling safety. And wearing gold underwear is considered a good strategy to trigger a prosperous new year.
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