ARIZONA, USA — It’s no secret that at the end of every year, people do what they can to ensure a prosperous new year. And a new trend on TikTok is proving that to be true.
Thousands of videos are showing people eating grapes during the first seconds of the new year and Cassie Sorensen is no different.
For the past three years, the Arizona-based Latina content creator has created videos on the tradition.
“People are so interested to learn, especially on TikTok. There is so much educational content being shared on the platform but you have to do it in a way that captures people’s attention,” said Sorensen.
Sorensen says she first learned of the tradition in Yucatan, Mexico while she attended a New Year’s Eve celebration.
“I saw on the table these jars of grapes on skewers. I thought they were just fruit skewers out for decoration or centerpieces for the table. Then, as it got closer to the countdown, someone said, ‘Don’t forget to get your grapes.’ And I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” Sorensen said, laughing.
The tradition is called twelve lucky grapes, or “uvas de la suerte” in Spanish, according to Atlas Obscura.
The site mentions that the tradition originated in Spain in the early 1900s after a large grape harvest. The tradition is performed by “eating one grape at each of midnight’s 12 clock chimes,” which “guarantees a lucky year.”
Sorensen’s original video, which features her eating 12 grapes and explaining the tradition, has amassed over 7.5 million views as of Dec. 30 — something she said she never expected.
“It’s been fun having such a global audience. TikTok is amazing for exposure and reaching an audience you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else,” said Sorensen.
There are variations of the 12 lucky grapes, including sitting under a table while eating them, which is something Sorensen said she wasn’t familiar with before this year. She credits it for the recent surge in interest on the app.
“It has been really interesting to see all the comments saying, ‘I will be eating my grapes under the table ringing in the new year,” said Sorensen.
Sitting under a table is said to bring good luck in finding true love in the new year, Sorensen said.
Another variation she recalled is thinking of a wish for each grape within 60 seconds.
Sorensen has used her viral success to explain other Latin American traditions, including “El Viejo.”
In this Mexican tradition, Sorensen explained that people create a life-sized piñata and then burn it to symbolize good riddance to any negativity from the previous year.
“Basically what you are doing is burning away the negativity from the previous year and starting fresh in the new year,” said Sorensen. “Some people will actually write on pieces of paper the negativity they are hoping to leave behind in the new year.”
Outside of promoting her Mexican-inspired small business, Tassel Amor, Sorensen says educating people on Mexican and Latin American culture and traditions have been the highlight of her social media career.
“There are so many traditions around the world that it turns out we are all connected by — so many similarities between different cultures and countries. That’s what’s important — connection,” said Sorensen. “I love being able to share my culture, teach people and make people a little more open-minded and hopefully start some new traditions for people around the world.”
Sorensen says this New Year’s Eve, she and her family will gather ahead of the ball drop and all take part in the 12 lucky grapes tradition.
She also plans to add another viral Latin American tradition to her annual routine: running around the street with her suitcase, which is said to promote travel and adventure in the new year.
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