Are you hoping for health, wealth and happiness in 2022? 2021 has been a difficult year for many Britons living in Spain, thanks to both the ongoing coronavirus restrictions and the impact that has had on international travel, and the finalisation of Brexit. But as the pandemic diminishes somewhat, we are looking forward to a brighter New Year: one that is filled with fun, friends, and hope for the future.
In Spain, the New Year is considered a time for celebration, and a time to welcome luck into your life. We could all probably use a little more good luck which is why, if you’re spending New Year in Spain, some of the authentic Spanish traditions of the season might be worth a try. Even if they’re not lucky, some of them are a lot of fun!
1. Eating Lucky Grapes
As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, you may well see people across Spain clutching a handful of grapes: these form an integral ingredient in a very important Spanish New Year’s tradition. Eating twelve grapes is thought to bring good luck and good fortune for the coming year. With each stroke of the clock, a grape is popped into the mouth until you have munched your way through all twelve: your good luck will only be assured if you can eat all of the grapes before the final ‘dong’ of the clock, which is no mean feat when you are surrounded by a giggling crowd, many of whom will also have their mouths stuffed full of grapes!
This is such a popular Spanish tradition that many Spanish supermarkets sell pre-packaged packs or cans of 12 seedless grapes, making it easy to carry them with you as you party on New Year’s Eve.
2. Drinking a Toast with Cava
Cava is an incredibly popular Spanish sparkling wine, and huge volumes of the golden drink are imbibed during the festive period. Most families with toast with Cava to ring in the New Year but, if you drop a gold item into your glass before you enjoy your midnight toast then you are said to have a much more prosperous year. Anything good will do, but golden wedding rings or gold coins are traditionally used.
Looking for love rather than wealth? Then you could drop red fruit into your glass instead! This is said to ensure that you will meet your true love in the coming year. Whatever kind of ‘luck’ you’re looking for, tradition dictates that the charm will only be successful if you drink your glass of cava in one gulp (so don’t pour a big glass!)
3. Put Your Best Foot Forward
This is a rather literal tradition, but Spanish folklore dictates that starting the year on the right foot (both literally and metaphorically) will bring you good luck. That means that the first step you take after midnight should be with your right foot. What’s more, you should use your right foot (and put your best foot forward) when you take your first step out of your home on New Year’s Day too.
4. Wear Red Underwear
Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions every year, and if one of yours is to finally find love then you shouldn’t be planning the outfit you will wear to that big New Year’s Eve party, but what you will be wearing underneath. Spanish folklore suggests that seeing in the New Year in your finest red underpants is the best way to ensure that you’re struck by Cupid's arrow in the coming year. So if you want 2022 to be a year of romance then pick your pants carefully.
Variations of these folklore suggest that the charm will only work if the red underwear was a gift, whilst another incarnation proports that you should give the underwear away before daybreak on New Year’s Day in order to activate the magic.
5. Eat Lentils on New Year’s Day
Finally, whilst many of us like to wake up to a bacon sandwich on New Year’s Day, to soak up the hangover from the night before, in Spain it is more traditional to eat lentils in order to attract luck. Normally served in a stew with chorizo to add colour and flavour, the lentils are said to represent small coins, and it is this shape that is thought to attract wealth and prosperity to whoever eats the lentils for the year to come.
Is Your New Year’s Resolution to finally own your own Spanish home? Perhaps you’re ready to take the plunge and move to Spain for good? Whatever your dream, we can help. Why not get in touch with our team of local property experts today, to find out more about how we can help you.