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Spanish New Year's Eve Tradition

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Get to know your Spanish traditions so you don’t make a fool of yourself like I did. 


It was back on New Year's Eve, 2000, in Mexico City. Just minutes before midnight, Maye handed me some grapes. 




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"Gracias," I said. 


I felt like having something cleansing to eat after all that rich food, and I started to eat the grapes. 


Maye laughed at me and told everyone else está comiendo las uvas (he is eating the grapes). 


I was oblivious to this Spanish tradition, which has been adopted in Latin America as well as communities in the United States and the Philippines. 


Here’s what to do when you get handed grapes on New Year's Eve.  


Firstly, don’t eat them before the clock strikes midnight. 


Then, on midnight, eat the first of las doce uvas de suerte (the 12 grapes of luck). 


Then you eat a grape and make a wish for the coming year. 


BOOOOONGGGG... eat a grape, I wish to get in good shape. 


Then do the same for each of the 12 grapes and 12 strikes of the clock. 


BOOOOOONGGG... eat a grape, I wish for travel. 


BOOOOOONGGG... eat a grape, I wish to spend more time with my children. 




Me gusta la tradición (I like the tradition) and I don’t eat the grapes before the clock strikes medianoche (midnight) anymore. 


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New-Year-New-Spanish-Life in 2023 




Marcus Santamaria

Spanish Communication Coach


P.S. Se dice que quien no las coma antes de que terminen las campanadas tendrá un año de mala suerte.


It’s said that he who doesn’t eat the grapes before the bells finish will have a year of bad luck.


So, don’t start eating before midnight, but make sure you finish before the last bell.


And make sure you give this Spanish offer a try before the clock strikes midnight, December 31.


After that, it’ll be gone.


New-Year-New-Spanish-Life in 2023

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