Posted by: Dee Andrews | January 1, 2009

Old Night in Spain

grapes We celebrated Nochevieja here in Spain last night with a mouthful of grapes! Tradition encourages you to pop a grape in your mouth on each chime of midnight. Of course its hard to keep up so by the time the new year is rang in, your mouth is stuffed full, and you’re laughing to see who actually managed to eat the grapes! I think my mom won last night, which is fitting since she was also celebrating her birthday!

The grape growers in Alicante are the founders of the tradition. Apparently 1909 was a good year for grapes and the growers came up with the ritual as a way to reduce the large surplus of grapes they had. The practice caught on and most Spaniards follow the custom as well as those celebrating in Portugal, Peru, Mexico and Cuba. Supposedly a sweet grape brings good luck for the month it represents. Watch out for sour ones, you may find that month of the upcoming year a little distasteful!

After a lovely dinner at the home of friends, we followed the countdown on television, filling our mouths with grapes and listening to the clock in the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid. Out with the old, in with the new. Here’s to 2009!

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