One of the most firmly rooted Christmas traditions in Spain is to eat twelve grapes with the twelve chimes of the End of the Year. But, do you know what is its origin and why it is done, if it is the same in all countries or if there are more of the popular traditions of this kind? Here you have all the answers.
The popular traditions of the End of the Year
Why do we take grapes on new year’s Eve?
This Spanish tradition is very simple: it consists of eating 12 grapes, one for each bell, at 12 of the night of December 31. But, do you know its origin and why it’s still done? There are different explanations for this popular tradition:
The first one says that it all began in 1882, an era in which it was very usual that the bourgeois class ate grapes and drank champagne during the new year’s Eve dinner. At that time, a group of locals wanted to smirk this situation that was critical and underestimated an of the way the rest of society and went to the Puerta del Sol to eat grapes at the same time accompanying the chimes.
A few years later, in 1894, the newspaper of The Future included an article, also published in El Imparcial, in which he spoke of a custom imported from France to eat grapes when you hear the first bell of the new year. The following year, the President of the Council of Ministers dismissed the year with grapes and champagne, making reference to what writing.
And the last, dating back to 1909, a year in which there was a very good harvest of grapes, so producers decided to give exit to the product surplus is selling it as ‘the grapes of luck’.
Whatever its origin, it is certain that with the passing of the years the tradition has been cleaved, and today there are many who take the ’12 lucky grapes’ to usher in the new year.
What is only done in Spain?
Although it is a tradition that has its origin in Spain, today it has settled in other countries such as Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia or Ecuador.
What other traditions are there in Spain?
In Spain, in addition to the habit of taking 12 grapes on new year’s Eve, there are several rites and traditions to start the year with good standing.
Red undies: a custom that is believed to come from China and Vietnam to attract good luck.
Money in the shoe: in order to have economic prosperity.
Wash hands with champagne and sugar: as the money in the shoe, for the economic prosperity.
Pull out the suitcases and leaving them at the door of the house: if one of your goals is to travel more.
Lights candles white, red, and green until it is consumed: to get the love.
What traditions exist in other countries to this day?
United Kingdom: when they touch the twelve, opens the back door of the house if you have, and you ask a man, preferably handsome and young, between the main door with salt, coal, and bread. For them, brings good luck and ensures an abundance of food, money, and heat.
Germany and Austria: they drop molten lead into a glass of water and the form that appears is used to interpret what the future holds.
United States: kissing during the first minute of the year to ensure that the love will not be missing throughout the year.
South America: as we have already said, in Spain, the underwear must be red. In Argentina, they prefer roses, in Colombia and Peru, yellow, and in Mexico and other countries can choose according to interest: yellow for the money and the luck, or red for the love.
Colombia: in this country, makes the suitcase on the last day of the year and middle of the night, take it and give a walk around the block. In this way, you attract good trips for the next year.
Denmark: save the dishes old of the year to break in the door of his friends ‘ house on new year’s Eve in a sign of prosperity.
Puerto Rico: at midnight, the families of Puerto Rico they throw buckets of water out the window to get rid of the problems of the past year and clean up the streets to welcome the new year.
Japan: in this country, Buddhist temples played the bells 108 times to purify the soul from the 108 sins that, according to them, the people can commit.
Brazil: wear white to scare away evil spirits and jump 7 waves for good luck.
Australia takes to the streets banging on pots and pans after midnight.
Ecuador: burn an effigy of a stick that symbolizes the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year.
Turkey: people throw grenades from the balcony to the street. It is said that the more you launch, the better it will be next year.
El Salvador: break an egg in a glass at midnight and leave in the window. The figure that appears the next morning will indicate your future.
Scotland: after the chimes begin the race to become the first to cross the threshold of a house. This means good fortune.
Russia writes a wish on paper, burn him, put him in a glass of champagne and drink it before 00.01 hours.
What we knew by what we eat grapes on new year’s Eve? And what is done in other countries? let us know in the comments!
Share it with your friends!
Cover image: María Pérez for rolloid
Source: nationalgeographic / natursan / as / skyscanner / 60-minutes