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New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Puebla

Our New Year’s Eve dinner in Puebla, Mexico (2008)Like so many celebrations in central Mexico, ringing in the new year is typically a family affair — and the traditions here are reminiscent of those in Spain. In Puebla, many people gather with their loved ones for a late dinner that lasts until after midnight. The main dish is often salt cod (bacalao a la vizcaína) or roasted pork leg (pierna al horno), although what gets served in any given household varies with individual tastes and pocketbook sizes.

It’s also common to wear a new pair of red underwear to bring yourself good luck, particularly in love, and to eat a dozen grapes, one at each stroke of midnight, while making wishes for the coming year. Toasts with cider (sidra), sparkling wine, or another festive beverage follow — as do after-parties, often at another location. Some people also believe that, for a fresh start, sweeping your house is a good omen and, barring that, at least you’ll have a clean floor, right?

If you’re visiting Puebla this week and don’t have a home to go to on Friday night, here are a few restaurants and bars that plan to roll out welcome mats:

Galería Arte & Vino, Alta Vista Plaza, Calzada Zavaleta #130, Second Floor (across from Italian Coffee). Enjoy three-course meal, music by singer Javier Flores González, mulled wine, grapes at midnight, and more. 9:30pm. MX$350 per person. Reservations accepted through Dec. 29 at (222) 890-6822.

The Grand Hotel, Calzada del Bosque #12, Colonia San José del Puente. Moët & Chandon hosts a party at the old Hotel de Las Bodegas del Molino from 10:30pm on. MX$100 per person includes a bottle of champagne for every table. For reservations and more information, click here.

The Loft, Osa Mayor #2706, PLaza Platinium, Colonia Reserva Territorial Atlixcáyotl. The Loft offers a buffet dinner, live saxophone and DJ music, and a champagne toast and the traditional grapes at midnight. 8:30pm. MX$399 general; MX$499 open bar. For more information and reservations, call (222) 409-0300 or 409-0400.

La Purificadora, Callejón de la 10 Norte # 802, Paseo San Francisco, Barrio El Alto. This trendy downtown hotel serves up a New Year’s buffet for MX$800 per person (MX$250 for kids under age 12). The price includes live music and a glass of cava and grapes at midnight. Open bar costs MX$450 extra. For dinner time and reservations, call (222) 309-1920.

Ming Lounge, 14 Oriente #420, San Andrés Cholula. After midnight, head for Ming Lounge, which promises a no-cover party for revelers who want to continue celebrating into the wee hours. For details, call (222) 409-5568 or 409-5569.

The Tavern Pub & Grill, Blvd. Luis Sánchez Pontón #608, Colonia Anzures. Dress up in your best medieval duds and head for this pub after 6pm for dinner and live music. The top costume wearer wins a prize. Tickets available in advance on-site; for reservations, call (222) 211-6473.

Sources: TodoPuebla.com and GoPuebla.com

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