New Year’s Eve in Spain
New Year’s Eve is an important celebration in Spain. Many people gather around the town square to hear the 12 chimes of midnight, welcoming in the new year.
Whether you choose to celebrate in town, at a restaurant or at home with family and friends, there are many Spanish traditions which are said to bring good luck and fortune for the year to come.
Most customs involve food and drink, and lots of laughter! Let’s take a look at four of the traditions that make New Year’s Eve in Spain so special.
The 12 lucky grapes
Probably the most famous of Spanish New Year traditions is the eating of 12 grapes at midnight. Each grape represents a month of the year and for every grape you manage to eat, it’s said you will have a month of good luck.
It’s not easy to eat 12 grapes within a minute – especially with the pressure of the chimes. Yet children, parents, grandparents, auntie, uncles, and friends, all get together to munch through the grapes.
It’s very important to peel the grapes and take out the seeds in advance if you want to be successful in eating them all!
Gold and bubbles
As many people around the world toast the New Year in with a glass of champagne. Here in Spain, it’s tradition to toast the New Year with a glass of Spanish cava. And we add a little golden touch to our midnight ‘copa’ (glass).
Just after we’ve eaten our 12 grapes, we brindar (toast) to our good fortune for the coming year with a glass of cava. To add a little extra ‘Midas touch’ we drop gold items into the glass: a gold coin, a wedding ring, whatever gold item you have to hand.
Tradition says that the gold will bring us good fortune in the New Year. You must down the glass in one, making sure not to drink the gold as well!
Stepping out on the right foot
Many Spanish people believe that if you want to start the New Year on the right foot, you literally need to step out on your right foot!
After you’ve eaten your twelve grapes and drunk your gold and bubbles, the very first step taken must be on the right foot. Some say that it’s the first step you take into your house after celebrating, others say it’s the first step out the door on New Year’s Day.
Whichever you choose, we agree that stepping out on the right foot is a great tradition!
Finish off with churros and chocolate!
After you’ve celebrated into the small hours and are heading home from a party, there’s nothing better than finding a churreria open and finishing off the night with some yummy churros and chocolate to warm you up.
There isn’t any good luck involved, but they taste delicious and are a perfect way to finish your New Year’s Eve in Spain!