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Twelve Grapes on New Year’s Eve

I rang in 2011 in Spain, on the island of Mallorca, with my good friend, Mary. We found a spot at a local bar, and the first question we asked was if they had las uvas, which are grapes. The reason we asked is because there is a Spanish New Year’s tradition that we didn’t want to miss!

In the states, we watch the ball drop in Times Square in New York and count down to the stroke of midnight. When the clock strikes twelve, everyone yells “Happy New Year” and hopes to have someone to kiss, or at least hug and celebrate with friends and family and drink champagne.

In Spain, they have the countdown in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Each person has 12 grapes. The clock starts to chime 12 seconds before midnight. At each chime, you put one grape in your mouth, so in theory, you will eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds. This is very hard to do! Mary and I found ourselves with a mouthful of grapes when the clock struck midnight. They say that if you eat all 12 grapes by the 12th chime, that you will have good luck in the new year. Well…hopefully the luck applies to those who attempted as well, haha! I heard that the trick is to peel the grapes and make sure they don’t have seeds. I’ll have to remember this and try again next year.

Regardless of our failure, we had a lot of fun taking part in the tradition. Take a look at our video! If anyone has experienced a New Year’s tradition outside of the states, please share. It’s great to learn about new holiday traditions!