New Year's Eve traditions in Spain

The end of the year in Spain is celebrated similarly to other places in the world: Fireworks, a fine dining experience, champagne toasts… However, there are some New Year’s Eve traditions in Spain that might surprise you.

New Year's Eve traditions in Spain

New Year's Eve celebrations in Spain

The end of the year in Spain is celebrated slightly differently depending on the region. In some you will celebrate it with friends either at a party or in a rented villa for the night.

In others, it is similar to Christmas Eve, but fancier as you dress up for the occasion. You will get together with the family for dinner and then go out with your friends after.

New Year's Eve traditions in Spain
New Year's Eve traditions in Spain / Sincerely Media / Unsplash / https://unsplash.com/

Most people wear red underwear in New Year's Eve

It is believed it will bring you luck in the following year to wear red underwear on the last night of the year you are leaving behind.

Therefore, between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve you will see red underwear for sale  literally everywhere.

It is traditionally a present someones gives you as it is said to bring you even more luck if someone gives it to you.

In Spain, people eat twelve grapes at midnight

While no ones really knows how it started it is believed that it was some time around 1900 after producers realised there was a surplus of grapes and did not know what to do with them. 

Regardless of how it started, this strange tradition takes place in every Spanish house in New Years Eve.

New Year's Eve traditions in Spain
New Year's Eve traditions in Spain / Andra Ion/ Unsplash / https://unsplash.com/

With all the major TV channels displaying the clock in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, when the clock hands strike midnight each one of the 12 first seconds of the year are marked with a bell ringing.

For each of those 12 gongs of the bell you will eat a grape, and – if you are able without choking – you make a wish for each of them.

Only after you have eaten the 12 grapes you will toast to the new year.

Just before New Year’s Eve, supermarkets in Spain will have grapes on display, some already in packets of 12 and even with packets in which the 12 grapes are peeled and seedless to make it easier.

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