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New year spanish tradition

Each country has its own tradition to celebrate the new year and each country has its own date.

Generally, the night of the new year’s eve is the december 31st but for some country, the new year is in february like in China or in april like in Cambodia according to their own calendar.

Surprisingly, in spite that some countries share the same date for this celebration, some have their own tradition like in Spain and a great majority don’t have one.

By no tradition, I want to say that there is nothing special except to wait midnight, raise a cup of champagne and give a kiss to the persons close to you.

For example in Thailand, the tradition is to do a battle of water. Equipped with small bags of water, you have to fight against the others in the street !!! In Italy, after the toast, you have to throw out your cup through out the window... If you decide to come in Spain, the tradition is to eat 12 grapes at midnight. In 1909 in Alicante, wine growers got an impressive harvest and they decided to share those grapes freely with the others by saying that if they ate them during the night of new year’s eve, fortune will come.

Since this date and for each new year, spanish people eat grapes and why 12 ? Well, since there are no official documents and no one remembers the reason, it said that the number 12 can mean either the number of months or the number of ring bells.

Depending where you decide to go – Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, San Sebastian… generally, you have to go to the main square where you will immerse within a human sea and of course you have to be there before midnight. Like the others, you will have your 12 grapes and a bottle of cava/champagne (or more or else ???) and will watch eagerly the clock tower for each passing second.

At 23h35, a bell will clash following by 4 double rings (representing the 4 quarters) and at 00h00, listening carefully, you will hear the first single ring and at this moment, eat your first grape. 3 seconds later, the 2nd ring and you eat your 2nd grape… until the 12 rings.

Each ring is spaced by 3 seconds and for each, one grape. If you are able to eat all of them at the end of the 12 single rings, it said that the next year, fortune will come in your life !!!

Grapes have nothing special and you can buy them in any store and/or market. From mid december, you can find pack of 12 grapes without seeds and of course, it is a little more expensive.

This special occasion is also broadcasted nationally in live by TV directly from La Puerta del Sol at Madrid and some spanish people celebrate it with friends and family at home and after go out for fun (with or without parents !!!).

The other tradition is to wear red underwear because the color expresses passion and love. And me, well I prefer to celebrate it in a small town to melt with villagers where tradition is more respected and more “warm”.