12 Grapes at Midnight - Doce uvas por Nochevieja

16 Oct 2012
Local time
12:45 PM
In Spain, it's customary to eat 12 grapes at the end of the year - one on each stroke of midnight from the Puerta del Sol clock in Madrid. The custom originated early in the 20th century, when there was a bumper grape harvest, and it was decided to give every Spaniard 12 grapes to bring in the New Year.

In our local village, they give out packs of 12 grapes, along with other party items such as masks, streamers and blowers, and it's hilarious watching everyone try to get the 12 green grapes down in time. If you manage to get the last grape into your mouth with the last stroke of midnight, you'll have a year of good luck, and if you can do it standing on your right leg, you'll also start the New Year on the right foot. As you can imagine, it's sometimes quite a dangerous tradition, when combined with industrial quantities of cava, which is the Spanish celebration drink of choice.

Do you have any interesting or unusual New Year food traditions to share?
Tardiness with a reply is such poor form. I won't let that stop me though.

I can't think of anything in particular really. The usual desultory attempt at singing Auld Lang Syne and if there were any Scots about having the odd lump of coal lobbed up the hallway. There was one really bizarre tradition that I had to endure as a kid.

We, as a family would sit in a semi-circle for perhaps 3 hours or more watching Moira Anderson and Andy Stewart performing ritualistic dances and singing strange guttural sounding songs. All this accompanied by hairy men (and women) whirling around and around whooping and saying yee--ah at every chance.
I still shudder at the memories and thankfully this depraved exhibition is now kept well away from the eyes of vulnerable children.
i do not have any new year's traditions. i do like the idea of eating 12 grapes at new year's. that just seems like a fun thing to do for some reason. i'll try it this new year's for good fortune. i hope everyone else does too.
Top Bottom