The citizens of Spain are known for their love of a good fiesta! Having spent eight years living in the land of the toro, I can testify to their party-loving ways.
New Year’s Eve, known as Nochevieja which translates to ‘Old Night’, was one of my favourite fiestas of the year. Forget your glad rags and high heels – most Spanish towns and villages celebrate the old-fashioned way – outside in the town square or plaza after an early dinner at home with family. It’s a wrap-up-warm affair with an outdoor band, food stalls and little bars set up to service the party-goers.
A Spanish New Year’s Eve is really about the dongs, the cava and, most importantly, the 12 grapes. As the clock approaches midnight, you’ll hear the pop of the cava bottles as everyone tops up their glass ready for the ringing of the bells to bring in the New Year. Tradition has it that good fortune will be yours for the year ahead if you take one sip of cava and eat one grape with every dong of the bell. Remember, this is wine country. A celebration wouldn’t be the same without the grape.
Only then are calls of “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!” heard as folks hug and kiss one another – it doesn’t matter if you actually know the other person – everybody wishes each other the best for the New Year.
After eating the 12 grapes, often followed by firework displays, New Year’s festivities continue with celebrations organised by bars, clubs, and other private establishments. These celebrations continue all night long.
The Spanish know how to celebrate, my friends!
If you want to walk the Portuguese Camino de Santiago in winter and celebrate the New Year, Spanish style, in Santiago, let us take care of the mundane leaving you to enjoy the magic in one of our Wild Camino Journey Self-Guided Journeys. Click the link below to contact us and start your Camino.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.