New Year’s Eve and traditions in Spain Posted by Paula on Dec 31, 2015 in Spanish Culture, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos
New Year is here and this is on of the most important celebrations in Spain. Do you feel like brushing up your New Year vocabulary? Check out our previous posts on this subject. You can also check posts on Christmas vocabulary, Christmas food and the Spanish Christmas lottery.
Let’s go through some of the traditions in the Spanish-speaking world for this very special and last night of the year.
Las 12 uvas (The 12 grapes)
In Spain the tradition for New Year’s Eve is organized around grapes. Yes, grapes. Every December 31 at 11:55 p.m., families and friends gather in the local main square to listen to the bells tolling at midnight to indicate the change of year. While the bells toll, you are expected to eat one grape after another, up to the 12 grapes that take us to the following year. There should be a wish connected to each of the grapes.
The change of year is always broadcast from the Puerta del Sol tower clock, where this tradition started, so most families actually gather around the TV or radio. The broadcast is kind of tacky and old-fashioned, but totally worth watching.
The most important part of this tradition is actually not choking with the grapes, as they fill up your mouth trying to follow the pace of the bells. You should try it out some time! Here’s a video on 2014-2015 change of year.
Lencería roja (Red underwear)
In Spain people usually use red underwear (braguitas y calzoncillos) on this night, to bring good luck and love for the following year.
Bear in mind it should be brand new. In other places in Latin America, for example, the colour they choose is yellow (in Colombia) and pink (in Argentina).
Los propósitos de Año Nuevo (New Year’s good purposes)
It is typical in Spain to make New Year purposes to be achieved during 2016. Here you have a list of the most common ones:
- Perder peso. [lose weight]
- Trabajar menos. [work less]
- Ejercitarse más. [work out more]
- Aprender un nuevo idioma. [learn a new language]
- Acostarse más temprano. [go to bed earlier]
- Despertarse más temprano. [wake up earlier]
- Ser más agradecido. [be more grateful]
- Dejar de fumar. [quit smoking]
- Reclamar menos. [complain less]
- Aprender a cocinar. [learn how to cook]
- Beber más vino y menos cerveza [drink more wine and less beer]
- Ser más paciente [be more patient]
- Pasar menos tiempo en Facebook [spend less time on Facebook]
- Leer más libros [read more books]
2015 was my first year writing for this blog. Let’s hope 2016 brings many more opportunities like this.
¡Feliz año nuevo!
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