The feeling that the New Year is approaching makes people see the world around them in a brighter light. The days before New Year’s Eve are the time of celebration and joy, as it takes us to the beginning of the New Year’s cycle. It is a new beginning, leaving the worries and sadness behind and welcoming the New Year with open arms. Different cultures have their specific ways to celebrate the arrival of New Year, with the traditions and customs begin specific for each region, country and its people. New Year Eve in Spain is known as Noche Vieja and is quite an impressive spectacle. Read on to discover all about celebrating New Year in Spain.
New Year Celebrations In Spain
New Year is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fanfare around the world and Spain does not stand among the exceptions. People in the country set themselves in the holiday mood, as the New Year approaches. Celebrations take place in a unique and special style, with full zeal and gusto. Just like in the most other countries, in Spain also, the beginning of December brings decoration of streets, shop windows, restaurants, coffee bars and houses, which adds to the festive atmosphere and bring smiles to people’s faces. All malls of Spanish cities undoubtedly include church bells and grapes, as their décor items. Spanish folks make New Year strictly a private affair and celebrate it with close family members and friends only.
Large feasts and merry making by all the members of the family mark Spain New Year celebrations. People dress themselves in new clothes and gather at midnight to offer their prayers. The celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp and lamb or turkey. Spanish people party on New Year with the family, glued to the T.V. waiting for a clock tower bell to ring 12 times. Everyone closely follows the instructions of the New Year’s program, as they discuss how they will eat their grapes. People keep 12 grapes ready and as soon as the clock strikes 12 at the midnight and, the church bells sound 12 times, all Spaniards eat 12 grapes, one for each toll of the bell.
As per tradition, those who eat the grapes have 12 months of prosperity in the New Year. Families and friends stay together for this celebration and toast with sparkling wine, such as cava or champagne, or alternatively with cider. After the family dinner and grapes, many young people attend New Year parties at pubs, discothèques and similar places and party until morning. In the monring, they gather together to have the traditional winter breakfast of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate and fried pastry). Another New Year custom is to prepare special cakes for the event. The cake is shaped like a ring and goodies and gifts are kept inside it. It is divided among people and the one who gets the goodies is supposes to be blessed with good luck all through the year.
New Year's Eve fireworks are mostly accompanied with a big noise, since the old times. According to the old beliefs, noise and fire repel evil spirits and bring happiness and good luck. Dancing also ranks among the popular New Year traditions in Spain. In places like Madrid, Barcelona and other places, thousands of people come out in the streets and indulge in dancing and merriment. People dress themselves in bright costumes and dance in groups. Fireworks are also lit up. The New Year tradition in Spain indeed brings out the vibrant atmosphere of the country!!