Mérida, Yucatán — The guide books say that Yucatecans traditionally stay home and celebrate the new year with family and close friends.
That tradition is being challenged. More families are choosing to let someone else do the cooking and cleaning.
After posting offers since the beginning of the month, restaurants, hotels and social clubs offering New Year’s Eve packages are practically sold out, reports Milenio. (See the YEL guide to New Year’s Eve destinations here.)
Reservations increased up to 30 percent compared to last year, according to the National Chamber of Restaurant and Seasonal Food Industries. An average package includes a four-course dinner and noise-makers and costs between 1,000 and 1,800 pesos per person, most with lower prices for children.
Hotels also offer accommodations for customers who don’t want to risk driving home after an evening of revelry.
Some party hosts who are still staying home are turning to markets who have economical meals ready to serve. One supermarket has a special that serves 15 people for 1,995 pesos.
One gourmet package costs 3,800 pesos, and feeds up to 24 people an appetizer, soup, salad, pasta, main dish and dessert.
But the real money being made is at hotels and resorts, who welcome tourists from across the country.
Mérida is the country’s second most-searched city for New Year’s Eve, according to the booking site Expedia.
Cancun is No. 1, but the White City this year bested Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Puebla or Tijuana in popularity, Expedia said.
Whether at home or in a restaurant, local traditions still hold. For good luck, wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve for luck in love, or yellow for luck with money.
At midnight, eat 12 grapes, each representing a month in the new year. With each grape, make a wish out loud.
Outside, expect to see a firecracker-stuffed dummy lit ablaze in the street, representing the año viejo, the old year. Though often homemade, vendors are selling commercially made effigies with either black or orange pompadours, depending on which nation’s president the purchaser wishes to see represented.
With information from Sipse