6. Avoiding brooms over feet
Doing housework? Be easy with that broom. Touch an unwed person’s feet with it and you’ll doom them to a life of loneliness, which means they won’t be getting swept off their feet anytime soon. (See what I did there? Swept. Because brooms. Oh, we’re just getting started.)
5. Keeping a purse or wallet off the floor
Speaking of cautions regarding the floor, don’t put your purse or wallet down there — it’s bad luck and disrespectful to your personal wealth in many cultures, including Latinx, hence why Mamá yells when kids drop her pocketbook.
4. Tying red strings on ankles and wrists
Wear a simple red string for good luck and protection. For one thing, it’s less likely to get you robbed than flaunting solid gold, which is its own form of good fortune.
3. Wearing colorful drawers for New Year’s Eve
Red underwear is to attract love. Yellow underwear is to encourage wealth (not green underwear, as you might expect). Purple underwear is if you’re freaky and plan to show them off all night. Brown underwear is… hopefully nowhere in your life. And when the clock strikes doce, don’t forget to eat 12 grapes so you can ensure good fortune every month of the new year.
2. El Cucuy
Not to be confused with La Llorona or el chupacabra, the other popular Latinx boogeypersons. (Thanks to Stephen King’s The Outsider, it might even be the most famous outside the culture.) Think of El Cucuy like Elf on the Shelf — if Elf on the Shelf was a hairy, bug-eyed monster that snatches up misbehaving children.
1. Mal de ojo
The evil eye still strikes fear in the hearts of even the most rational Latinx people, especially when its gaze is directed at a baby. Rubbing an egg from head to toe (your head to toe, not the egg’s) sounds ridiculous, but it’s the best cure. Plus, not gonna lie: An egg rubdown feels pretty damn good.