Photo by nlitement| commons.wikimedia.org
¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Happy New Year! ¡Feliç Any Nou!
Tonight at the stroke of midnight we will participate in a Spanish New Year's tradition, Uvas de La Suerte. For each chime of the bell, we must quickly eat a grape. Each swallowed grape represents a month of good luck in the New Year. The tradition is said to have started in 1909.
Many in Spain watch TVE broadcast the New Year's chimes from Puerta del Sol in Madrid. These chimes now give you 36.7 seconds to devour the 12 grapes. A blogger on Typically Spanish said that in 1997 a malfunction resulted in a 17 second countdown and found many Spaniards choking when they tried to keep up with the fast pace.
Photo: Martha Stewart's 12 Grapes of Good Luck Suggestions for New Year's Eve
Even Martha says eating the Uvas de La Suerte is a "Good Thing!" Martha suggested serving kids the grapes as a way of including them in New Year's Eve celebrations. Or you could serve them on a skewer with a glass of cava (shame on Martha for suggesting champagne for a Spanish tradition!).
Photo of Pre-Packaged Uvas de La Suerte by CataVino
In the grocery store, you can even buy pre-packaged "Copas de Uvas de La Suerte" with 12 grapes in a plastic cava glass. One brand even sells canned grapes that are seedless and peeled for quick consumption ensuring good luck in the New Year.
:: Red Panties for New Years ::
Another tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages, that you may want to partipate is wearing red undies on New Year's Eve. I wonder why Martha didn't include this in her "Good Things" list? Today at the street market in Sant Cugat, I found several booths selling piles of red panties. And let me tell you, it wasn't only the young ladies buying the skimpy sheer scarlet undies. So, at least if you can't eat the 12 Uvas de La Suerte, you've still got your red undies as a good luck plan B!
:: Read More About Spanish New Year's Traditions ::