How New Year in Spain is Celebrated
It’s that time of the year again as friends and families make their plans for New Year’s Eve (nochevieja) celebrations. In Spain, it’s no different. Let’s take a look at how New Year is celebrated in Spain!
Many New Year’s traditions will be familiar, such as meeting up and sharing food and drink with friends and family. However, there are also lots of traditions and superstitions that make New Year in Spain extra special.
The festive period kicks off with the Christmas Lottery, before further Christmas traditions. Sandwiched in the middle are the New Year’s celebrations. So, let’s look at some of the more unique traditions on offer in Spain around this time!
New Year in Spain – Unique Traditions!
- Twelve auspicious grapes
Across town squares and homes in Spain, people clutch 12 grapes in the lead-up to the bells. The aim is to eat all the grapes during the 12 chimes of midnight. It’s a race to swallow the twelve grapes before the chimes finish, with each grape signalling a month of good luck for the year ahead! Even if you’re not superstitious, this is still a fun tradition to get involved in at New Year in Spain.
Tip: if you’re celebrating New Year in Spain, see if you can find the seedless variety which will make your task somewhat easier. Beware, they’ll sell out fast!
- Lentil Soup
It’s tradition in some parts of Spain to have a bowl of lentil soup on New Year’s Day. Each lentil is said to represent a coin to bring you wealth in the New Year.
- Call to Cupid with red underwear!
Tradition states that you should wear a red undergarment to see in the New Year and that it should have been given to you by someone else. It is thought that the red underwear will bring you luck in love in the coming year. In some parts of Spain, people give the underwear away at the end of the night. Rather you than me!
Tip: Lots of shops jump on the opportunity to sell red underwear in the lead-up to New Year, so don’t be confused if you spot a lot of it on display.
- Right foot forward
You should always start the New Year ‘with the right foot forward’. This can be both the first step after the bells, or the first step back into your house after the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Why not cover all bases and do both!
- Share a drink of Cava and unearth something golden
Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, similar to Champagne, and is usually shared among friends and family after the bells of midnight. You might also find a golden object in your glass, with the aim being to finish the drink in one and collect your lucky object at the end. Some people prefer to drink a fizzy cider in place of Cava.
We hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, however you will be celebrating and wish you all the happiness in the year ahead.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!