Like all other places in the world, New Year is widely celebrated in Spain with great zeal and enthusiasm. It is celebrated there as “Nochevieja” whose literal meaning is “old night” and lots of Spanish traditions are associated with it.
Most of the Spanish like to spend the New Year eve and the New Year day with their family members and close friends.
It is also a common sight among the youngsters as well. There is a very interesting tradition followed among the Spanish during the New Year-eating 12 grapes. These grapes are eaten at every stroke of the clock as it strikes 12 on the New Year eve.
Each grape is meant for each of the 12 months and traditionally it is believed that eating grapes at the beginning of the year brings good luck and prosperity for all 12 months. It was first started by the King of Spain and is still widely followed among the conservative Spanish families. People who gather at the world famous New Year event held at, Puerta del Sol in Madrid before the countdown begins, also follow the traditions.
New year celebrations for the Spaniards have no meaning if it is not spent with family. Elders in the home traditionally prepare a special round ring shaped cake which is cut exactly at 12’o clock in the presence of all family members and friends. The round ring shape is given as it symbolizes good luck. The striking feature of the cake is that the cook, while preparing it, puts some small gifts and good luck charms inside it. While eating the cake, whoever gets these goodies, is sure to have a good luck throughout the year.
Fireworks form an integral part of a traditional New Year celebration. They are considered to be important as loud noise and sound of the bursting crackers drive away the evil spirits and leaves space for holiness and good luck. In many Spanish Families it is customary to dance and sing loudly to welcome the New Year with a bang. The reason remains the same-discarding the evil for the good.
During the party all the participants wear bright colored dresses as those welcome good luck and bright future. These parties serve enormous food and drinks like the traditional lemon sorbet or Rioja Wine Sorbet but the special toasting is raised with the sparkling Cava-the very famous Spanish champagne. People dance, shout, sing and greet each other with kisses and hugs-just to make the arrival of the New Year a grand occasion.
A very funny yet significant customs prevails among the Spanish during New Year- wearing red colored innerwear. Red for them is a symbol of good luck and prosperity; hence they put it to embrace both. But one cannot purchase it for himself or herself, the red innerwear must be gifted by someone else. Isn’t that interesting? Indeed- it is.
Traditionally many Spanish inhabitants eat chocolates or biscuits at the early Morning of the New Year day just to signify they had a wonderful celebration last night.