Five Spanish New Year traditions to bring you luck for 2017

The Local Spain
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Five Spanish New Year traditions to bring you luck for 2017
Photo: AFP

Celebrating 'nochevieja' in Spain? Here is The Local guide to ensuring you start 2017 with as much good fortune as possible.


Spain has more than a few traditions that need to be upheld to make sure that 2017 is a year that brings good fortune and even love.

12 lucky grapes

Photo: Chris Oakley / Flickr

As midnight approaches on New Year’s Eve everyone across Spain will be clutching a very important talisman: 12 grapes to bring luck and fortune throughout the coming year.

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.

Toast with cava

Photo: cyclonebill/Flickr 

Of course all of Spain raises a glass of Cava to toast in the New Year (Once the grapes have all been gobbled) and tradition has it that for that extra chance of the year ahead bringing prosperity, drop a gold object into the glass before the toast.

A gold wedding ring or gold coin will do the trick, but if its love you crave then some say to drop in a red fruit such as a strawberry or raspberry.

But for the charm to work make sure to down the cava in one gulp.

Wear red underwear

Photo: Josep Pons i Busquet/ Flickr 

Talking of love, the only sure-fire way of Cupid shooting an arrow in your direction during 2017 is to make sure you are decked out in red underwear to see in the new year. Some say that it only works if the undies were a gift, while others firmly believe you have to give them away before daybreak if the magic is to work.

Start the year on the right foot

Photo: yasamaster / Flickr

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 out in the morning

Eat lentils

Photo: Jonathan Pincas / Flickr

A dish 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.



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