What was the colour of the underwear you wore on New Year’s Eve? Can’t remember? Well, Chileans can answer this weird question easily: amarillo. Indeed, wearing yellow underwear is said to grant a year of happiness and prosperity. Yellow boxer shorts, yellow thong, yellow bikini, pick whatever style you like as long as the colour is right.
This is how December 31 started for us in Santiago. We wandered around the stalls of the busy street markets around Estación Central and watched Santiaguinos buying yellow undies and party supplies for the evening.
“Should be fun,” Feng commented as we walked by shoppers, their arms full of giant glittery plastic hats, “2017” plastic glasses, “silly string” sprays (colourful synthetic-based resin propelled from a can), party poppers blowing out confetti, carnival masks—and yes, cans of “snow spray,” which I found hilarious. As a Canadian, I no longer find snow exotic and not having to deal with it was my number one wish for New Year’s Eve.
We spent the day walking around downtown Santiago, adjusting to the hot, dry and sunny weather and to the fact that we are indeed on the road again. We bought food and drinks since everything was going to be closed on January 1 and I got a last-minute haircut (because why start the new year with a bad haircut, right?)
After a late-afternoon break, we walked to Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, Santiago’s main avenue. Like Paulista in São Paulo last year, it was closed to traffic, but it felt like crowded than it had been in Brazil. There we started to count down the hours to midnight, playing with silly string, eating street food (we skipped the “handmade sushi rolls” from a cart, though…) and just goofing around. Around 11:30 p.m., Santiaguinos couldn’t wait and started drinking and spraying fake snow and blowing out confetti. At midnight, we were already covered in all of the above-mentioned.
The fireworks from the Entel Tower was amazing. For the first five minutes, I took pictures, then Feng and I held Mark for him to enjoy the show better. At 12:10 a.m., the show was still going on. At 12:12 a.m. my arms went numb because Mark is freaking heavy. At 12:15 a.m., most cellphones had run out of battery and people had stopped filming. In total, the show lasted about twenty minutes—definitely one of the longest and nicest fireworks displays I have seen!
We walked back to the hotel, showered and hung out until we realized it was 2 a.m. and that Mark really should go to sleep.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a blast wherever you were and I wish you luck, success and happiness for 2017 and beyond!