I’m not a big fan of big New Year’s Eve Parties and would rather spend the night at the theatre with a good play or a fun musical to sing along, or simply watching a good movie on TV. But, since I’m spending New Year’s Eve in Spain and we have new members in the family, it’s time to get ready for party!
Lately I’ve been learning about the Spanish traditions and superstitions that will ¿surely? bring good luck to the new year. It’s been fun selecting what we will follow, so we thought it’d be fun to share them with you too. Got pen and paper? Here we go…
5 Spanish New Year’s Eve traditions for luck and travels
A toast with Cava and Gold
Spaniards say that to drink a toast with Gold brings great luck. That’s the reason why you can find some crazy (and expensive) products like wine with 24K gold powder inside.
We don’t have the budget nor the tastes for that, so we’re adding a bit of gold to our glasses by drinking our wine with a gold ring inside.
If you haven’t heard of it, Cava is the Spanish equivalent for Champagne, so I guess you can do this with Champagne too (or with another nice sparkling beverage.) Just make sure you say “Salud!” instead of Cheers and look each other in the eyes when you toast 🙂
Wearing something red
No, I won’t be wearing a red dress to New Year’s Eve. I like the color, but that’d be too much. The tradition says that wearing your underwear red brings good luck, so I might just do that.
Now I just have to buy some. Or get someone to buy it for me, as some say it’s better luck when it’s a gift!
Another theory says that red brings love and that you should wear it yellow (and inside out) for luck.
Note: I’m not the one on the picture (just in case you wondered 😉 )
Spanish 12 grapes of luck
Probably the most iconic tradition for New Year’s Eve in Spain is to eat 12 grapes, one per stroke of the clock at midnight.
People get nervous about it and would get in rage if someone stops them to have their chance of eating the 12 grapes in time (not many get to eat them on time I must add.) So, you can find places that celebrate New Year’s Eve before New Year’s Eve, just to guarantee they eat the 12 grapes. The people of Berchules (Granada) do it in August, the ones in Corme (Galicia) do it in September and even the people from Vilagarcía (Galicia) do it at lunch on the same day, just in case.
Just remember: one white grape per stroke (they symbolize the months of the new year) and you will be lucky next year.
Burning the bad things
There’s something with fire and celebrating in Spain (see St. Juan’s fires in June and Fallas in March, for example), so New Year’s Eve also has something ‘burning’.
While some places have big fires lit up for New Year’s Eve (like Tabaiba in Tenerife and Cacabelos in León), we’ll just write down what we didn’t like from 2016 and burn it when the year ends.
Some people do it all the way around: write their wishes and burn them when the new year starts. One way or the other, it sure helps to set up your goals for the year, don’t you think?
Wishing for travels
And, at last, our favorite one! Although it is quite recent (it comes from Latin America), this superstition is supposed to bring you lots of travels, so we’ve added it to our list.
They say here that if you take one of your travel bags (any piece of luggage would do) and you walk with it on new year’s eve, the new year will be amazing in terms of travel. So put some clothes inside and go around the house with it if you feel like joining us 😀
You could also leave it outside your door, but you might find that your luggage traveled more than you expected (and with somebody else)