All countries have their own traditions, especially when it comes to celebrating Christmas and the New Year. In Spain, there are quite a few traditions and superstitions that we discovered when we spent our first festive period here last year.
So, if you’re spending Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve or ‘old night’) in Spain, or just want to learn more about some Spanish customs, here are some tips on how to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain…
Get the family together
Rather than going out to a bar or nightclub to see in the new year as you might be used to doing, it’s more normal for families to gather together at home to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain. Families will share a meal and plenty of Cava, before watching the countdown on TV, or gathering in their local church square for the ringing of the bells.
Get ready for fireworks
Like most places, fireworks are a must for New Year’s Eve in Spain. Where ever you are you can expect to see some great displays at midnight as each village or town will have their own displays, so make sure you’re out on your balcony or roof terrace at midnight to get the best view!
Eat twelve grapes
One of the biggest Spanish traditions at this time of year is to eat doce uvas (12 grapes) at midnight on New Year’s Eve – one for every chime of the bell. Superstition says that if you don’t manage to eat all your grapes before the 12th chime, then you’ll have bad luck for the following year. The grapes are often accompanied by sidre (cider) or cava.
Wear red underwear
If you’ll be looking for love in the new year then according to the Spanish, you should wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve! You’ll see the shops full of red underwear at this time of year, however, the superstition only works if the underwear was a gift. You also need to give them away by the end of the night for your luck in love to change!
Start the new year on the right foot
The Spanish say that you should start the new year off on the ‘right foot’ – literally. You should use your right foot for the first step out of your house on New Year’s Day to make sure you have a good year.
Eat ‘coin soup’ on New Year’s Day
Eating ‘coin soup’ for lunch on New Year’s Day is another popular Spanish tradition. The soup is made from lentils and chorizo, with each lentil representing a coin. Eating the soup is thought to bring you wealth and prosperity in the new year.
Wherever you’re celebrating New Year’s Even this year – Feliz Año Nuevo!
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