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Spanish New Year – Quirky Traditions and Superstitions

Spain has several traditions and supertsitions that need to be strictly upheld to make sure that 2024 brings love and good fortune.

Cava Toasting

Spain raises a glass of Cava to toast in the New Year (Always after the grapes have been forced down at astonishing speed! – see below). Also, tradition has it that if you drop a gold object into the glass before the toast, even more luck will come your way (be careful not to swallow it though as it may react badly with the grapes!) But if it’s love you are after, then some say to pop in a red fruit such as a strawberry or raspberry. But for this charm to work its magic you must down the cava in one gulp!

Red Underwear is a MUST!

If you are in search of love in 2024, then you should make sure that you start the new year with wearing some snazzy red underwear. By doing so, Spanish tradition holds that Cupid will find your Mr/Mrs. Right and will bring you love in the new year. Some say that it only works if the undies were given as a gift, while others firmly believe you have to give them away before daybreak if the magic is to work.

Right foot first

In Spain, tradition dictates that you literally have to start the year on the right foot. And that means not only taking the first step after midnight with your right foot but putting your right foot forward for every important first that day whether it be stepping into your house when you come home from New Year’s Eve celebrations and stepping back out on January 1st.

Be sure that you strategically place your right foot ahead of your left while you gobble up your 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight

Play the lottery

A few days before the New Year’s celebration buy a ticket – Some people even believe that rubbing their lottery ticket against a pregnant woman’s belly or a bald man’s head will make it a winner!

Eat lentils

Adish of hearty lentils on New Year’s Day isn’t just great for the hangover it is also said to bring you luck. Normally served in a stew with chorizo, the lentils are said to represent small coins, designed once again to bring wealth and prosperity in the year ahead.

And of course the 12 lucky grapes

As midnight approaches and the bells toll in the clock tower of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid on New Year’s Eve everyone across Spain will be clutching a very important talisman – 12 juicy grapes.

It’s essential for each grape to be popped in the mouth on the dong of each stroke of midnight, no mean feat when you are surrounded by giggling friends in a crowd of people.

To make things easier, supermarkets sell cans containing 12 small, seedless grapes, perfect for popping in your pocket and keeping them to hand wherever you decide to celebrate.


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