What is it with Spaniards and eating twelve grapes at New Year?
New Year’s Eve is called Nochevieja, meaning Old Night. Just like the rest of the world, Spain celebrates the arrival of a new year and says goodbye to the old year.
I don’t suppose there will be many tears shed for 2020! What a horrible year it has been.
The Coronavirus has wreaked havoc in every single country worldwide. Very few people have been spared the impact of this horrible, invisible, enemy. The good news is that there is now a vaccine and, hopefully, we will get back to something that resembles ‘normal’ in 2021.
For this reason, we will be hoping for more than the usual helping of good luck. So, how will Spain be trying to usher in a year of good fortune?
The Grapes of wrath
Spaniards have a fantastic tradition for New Year’s Eve, they gulp down 12 little green grapes. True!
Tradition has it that you have to eat them one by one, in time with the striking of the clock at midnight on 31 December. If you manage to eat all the grapes in time, you are in for a year of prosperity and good luck. Apparently.
I have tried this trick myself on many occasion. It isn’t a simple as it may seem. The grapes, although small and in a tin, they are not as easy to swallow as you would think.
The good bit is that you can help them down with a glass or two of Cava!
Cava is a sparkling wine of Denominación de Origen status from Spain. It may be white or rosé. The Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo is the most popular and traditional grape varieties for producing cava.)
I’ve seen many people almost choke in their endeavours to keep in time with the chimes. There are not many Spaniards who would miss this little New Year ritual and chance the wrath of a year of bad luck.
Happy New Year to you all. Let us hope 2021 is a damn sight better than in 2020.