Why they eat grapes on New Year's Eve or New Year's Eve

If I asked you about a Christmas tradition that is very common in many Spanish houses, and that is precisely only performed one night of the year (specifically the last of the year, to be more precise), it is quite possible that one comes to mind: eat the twelve grapes. It is undoubtedly one of the most widespread traditions, and each year is carried out each New Years Eve or End of the year. And is that although it is a tradition that has its origin in Spain, did you know that today has been extended to other countries, such as Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia or Ecuador ?.

The tradition is really very simple: consists of eating 12 grapes, one for each stroke, at 12 o'clock on the night of December 31 (that is, on New Year's Eve). But, do you know their origin, and above all, why do they eat grapes every New Year?

The history of the tradition of eating grapes on New Year's Eve

There are different explanations that try to clarify when and where the tradition of eating grapes began every December 31. The first one says that everything came up in the year 1882At that time, it was very common for the wealthiest class of society to eat grapes and drink champagne during New Year's Eve dinner.

At that time, a group of locals chose to ironize with a situation that criticized the rest of society (precisely because of the existing poverty), and went to Madrid's Puerta del Sol to eat grapes while accompanying the chimes.

A few years later, on January 2, 1894, the newspaper The Future Century included an article published on January 1 of the same year in The Impartial, entitled "The Beneficial Grapes" in which they spoke of a custom imported from France to eat grapes when listening to the first bell of the twelve, and "had gathered in fraternal colloquy to countless families, and all in chorus shouted: A year more! " A year later, specifically on the New Year's Eve of 1895, was the President of the Council of Ministers who dismissed the year with grapes and champagne, making a written reference on the 12 grapes.

Another equally coherent explanation is found in the year 1909, a time when there was a very good harvest of grapes, so that the producers decided to encourage the population to buy them selling them as "lucky grapes".

Be that as it may, the truth is that the tradition has been taking root over the years, so that today the grapes symbolize abundance, so that every time we eat one with each bell you have to make a wish.

Images | Christian Schnettelker / Chris Oakley TopicsChristmas

Eating grapes on New Year's Eve, traditions in Spain (September 2021)