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

Spanish New Year traditions you will encounter in Spain

Spanish New Year traditions: Celebrations

People in Spain celebrate the end of the year 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.

Spanish New Year traditions
Spanish New Year traditions / Sincerely Media /

New Year's Eve traditions in Spain: Most people wear red underwear

People think it will bring you good 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.

new years eve traditions in spain
New Years eve traditions in Spain / Isi Parente /

It is traditionally a present someones gives you as they think it brings you even more luck if someone gives it to you.

New Year's Eve in Spain crazy traditions: People eat twelve grapes at midnight

The most common story on how it started is that some time around 1900 producers realised there was a surplus of grapes and did not know what to do with them so they got creative.

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

Spanish New Year traditions
Spanish New Year traditions / Andra Ion /

All the major TV channels display the clock in Puerta del Sol in Madrid. When the clock hands strike midnight a bell rings for each one of the 12 first seconds of the year.

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.

new year's eve in spain crazy tradition
New Year's eve in Spain crazy tradition /

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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