Curiosities Where does the tradition of eating grapes at New Year's Eve come from in Spain?

One of the traditions that millions of people repeat in Spain every December 31 is to eat 12 grapes, one for each bell that rings at midnight, to say goodbye to one year and welcome the next

Curiosities Where does the tradition of eating grapes at New Year's Eve come from in Spain?

One of the traditions that millions of people repeat in Spain every December 31 is to eat 12 grapes, one for each bell that rings at midnight, to say goodbye to one year and welcome the next. There are different explanations about the origin of this custom, which has also spread to other countries.

A widespread theory indicates that this Christmas rite was consolidated in 1909, a year in which Alicante winegrowers had a good harvest of grapes. To dispose of the surplus in the market, they named them "lucky grapes" and sold them in packages of 12 units, which symbolize the 12 months of the year.

There are mentions of eating grapes on New Year's Eve in the 19th century press. In its edition of January 2, 1894, El Siglo Futuro included an article titled The beneficial grapes, collected from El Imparcial the day before. The media already reported on this custom, indicating that it had been imported from France: "Today this saving practice has become widespread and as soon as the hands of the clock point to 12, the consumption of grapes begins... Eats with faith on the last night of the old year, provide happiness during the new year.

The delivery of El Correo Militar on the same date also spoke about this fruit. "The imperishable custom of eating grapes upon hearing the first bell of 12 o'clock had countless families gathered in fraternal colloquium, and everyone in chorus shouted: 'One more year!'" published the aforementioned newspaper.

There is a theory that the tradition of eating grapes in Spain on December 31 was born in 1882. At that time, people from the bourgeoisie and aristocracy met on the last day of the year at dinners where they ate grapes and drank champagne. . A group of Madrid residents decided to make fun of this custom and respond to the limitations that had been imposed on Christmas celebrations in the street. For this reason, they went to Puerta del Sol to eat grapes to the sound of the bells.