Here is some fascinating cultural information on how the New Year is traditionally celebrated here in Costa Rica (thanks to costaricapages.com):
“In Costa Rica, housewives will sweep out the entire house on Dec. 31st to remove the past year’s evils and get a fresh start to the New Year. Others swear that putting water in a pan and throwing it over your shoulder will ensure that all bad things are behind you for the coming year.
When getting ready for New Year’s Eve festivities, it is said that wearing yellow will bring good luck . . .
Travelers are told to put a book bag on or take your luggage out and walk around the house two times or to cross the street with it to invite opportunities for travel in the coming year. It is also said in many Latin American countries, Costa Rica included, that eating 12 grapes at midnight will grant you 12 wishes and/or good luck.
Once the countdown is concluded, the most traditional New Year’s song in Costa Rica is called “Año Viejo”, a traditional song in which a man sings about what the past year left him.
While fireworks are a give-in in most countries, you may have become immune to them by the time New Year rolls around in Costa Rica as they seem to go off every night throughout the month of December, the 31st being no exception.”
We certainly experienced this last tradition. It was not until 3AM that the fireworks (over our heads) died down.