The lucky grapes in Spain

The lucky grapes in Spain

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Eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes on New Year’s Eve is a very traditional act in Spain that brings good luck. Many Spanish people eat their grapes at home with their family and use a television broadcast to listen to the chimes. Others head to public squares and eat their grapes to the sound of the local clock. But, where does this tradition come from?

There are many different explanations for this tradition. Many believe the tradition of eating the 12 lucky grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve originated in 1909 due to a surplus stock of white grapes in Almeria, Murcia and Alicante regions. The farmers sold these grapes and called them “lucky grapes”. This was certainly instrumental in popularizing the tradition of eating grapes at New Year. 

There is another reason that can be traced back to the year 1882. During this time, a group of working class people from Madrid thought of challenging the city’s Bourgeoisie who used to stay in their mansions and feast on grapes and drink champagne on New Year’s Eve. The group of these working class people gathered on New Year’s Eve at the Puerta del Sol square to eat their grapes and sip their champagne, in an effort to ridicule this ‘snobby’ tradition. This act continues till our time.


Spain, Celebration, Grapes, Tradition,
New year’s eve, Cultural myths, Good luck,


Spanish people usually eat 12 grapes on the New Year’s Eve to:

  1. Celebrate the New Year.
  2. Feel healthy.
  3. Bring good luck in the New Year.

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