New Year Celebrations in Spain

Typically the new year in Spain is a time of celebration with friends, family and loved ones. Top fireworks displays, twelve grapes at midnight and big outdoor parties epitomize the Spanish new year celebrations. This year it won’t be the same under the circumstances but there are still some new year traditions you should watch out for! And remember, Covid-19 restrictions are in place for any of you who are going out to meet friends or family in small gatherings, so be mindful of these too.   

Covid-19 Restrictions

The Spanish government originally wanted to allow for larger gatherings at new year but due to recent numbers of cases and also the threat of a new strain of the virus, they are remaining firm on keeping gatherings small and limited. They have banned large group celebrations altogether, meaning that main squares and popular public places will be closed and guarded by police to avoid any crowding on new year’s eve. In terms of family celebrations, the limit remains at 6 people and will not change for new year’s eve. The number of households mixing is recommended as no more than two. This is a guideline that should be followed but is not a mandatory rule. On top of this, remember the curfew! On new year’s eve the curfew will be extended by one hour allowing for people to travel home before midnight. Everyone must be home by midnight which makes it a very strange new year’s eve indeed, but after the year we have had, many are respecting the rules so we can get back to normality in 2021.  

Timeless Traditions

While many usual traditions are limited or restricted, some still remain. Here are some of the main ones Spanish people like to uphold:   12 Lucky Grapes – Make sure you’ve got 12 grapes at the ready. Each grape is said to represent every month of the coming year. On each chime of the clock at midnight, Spaniards eat a grape to bring them luck in the new year. A mouth full of grapes and lots of laughter follows!   Red Underwear – This is seen as a good luck charm when it comes to romance. Spaniards wear some kind of red underwear on new year’s eve and some even insist that they must be a gift. If you haven’t got any don’t worry, the Spanish stores stock plenty in the days leading up to the new year. What have you got to lose?   Gold & Cava – It’s tradition to drop something gold into your glass of cava before the midnight toast. Gold wedding rings are most typical or gold coins too. Just make sure it’s in your glass at midnight and be sure to drink the whole glass (and not the gold object!). It’s a good luck charm once again and said to bring actual fortune in the year ahead.   More news, updates and Spanish related posts can be found weekly at our ICV Blog.

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