The Spanish tradition of New Year’s grapes: las doce uvas de la suerte

If you are in Spain for the New Year’s Eve party, don’t expect to find lentils like lucky plate, because here it doesn’t use like in Italy. To celebrate the arrival of the new year auspiciously, in the Iberian Peninsula there is a tradition of eating The grapes of luckor 12 grapes after midnight.

Las doce uvas de la suerte, the Spanish New Year’s lucky dish

The last night of the year, known in Spain as New Years Eve, it is tradition, just before midnight, to connect to Televisión Española (or the Catalan one for those who are in Barcelona or Cataluña), which broadcasts the chimes of the clock in the square live from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. When do the last ones start? 12 chimes, which symbolically represent the months of the year, at each toll you must eat a grape, therefore one for each month. If at the end of the tolling there are no grapes left, the prospects are one prosperous and fortunate new year. On the contrary, those who are unable to finish all the grapes must put their hearts at peace and hope for better times.

A fun tradition

Whether celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, on the street or in a restaurant, everyone has their own 12 grapes. It’s a very funny custom and all in all more difficult than it seems: swallowing 12 grapes in 12 seconds it’s not a joke that’s exactly why the one of New Year’s grapes is a moment of great hilarity. Now it is easy to find ready-made packs of grapes in supermarkets, but once the preparation was also part of the tradition of las uvas de la suerte: a few hours before midnight, the grapes were peeled and the seeds removed. Often young people wait for midnight and as soon as the moment de las uvas is over, they say goodbye to the family and join friends.

The origin

Various hypotheses revolve around the origin of this tradition. The most accredited tells of a particularly rich grape harvest at the beginning of the twentieth century. To try to dispose of the abundance of grapes in the 1909 Spanish winemakers came up with a truly creative idea. They invented that that grape would bring good luck for next year’s harvest, if consumed on the last day of the year. From there the Spanish tradition of New Year’s grapes was born, which over time turned into a good luck ritual not only for the agricultural harvest but more generally to wish prosperity and luck in the new year.

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