We all know the New Year’s Eve drill; celebrate until midnight, countdown to twelve, holler with excitement, toast with a glass of Gloria Ferrer, plant a smooch or hug a loved one- and there you have it. It’s New Year’s.
Or maybe you stay in, cook a special meal, sip on more Gloria Ferrer, try to keep your eyes open until midnight while watching a countdown on TV recorded from three hours earlier. I may or may not know about the latter all too well.
Regardless of whichever way you celebrate the New Year, its always interesting to hear what others do in lands far way. Take Gloria Ferrer’s homeland of Spain. On New Year’s Eve in villages and cities across Spain, upon striking midnight, clock towers chime four times and then one large chime 12 times in a row about two seconds apart. Each large chime represents a month of the year. Upon the first of the 12, people pop a grape into their mouths and barely get two chews in when the second chime bongs and people pop a second grape in. This continues until the clock has chimed 12 times. The goal is to chew all 12 grapes by the end of the final bell because that will mean an entire year of good luck.
As this Spanish tradition has reportedly been going on for over a century, it must be noted that the grapes which people chew as the clock strikes midnight are not your average grape. In fact they are grapes which mature later in the season, are very pale, juicy and have very thin skins- which makes it much easier for you to gobble down the 12, or so you would think. But in all actuality, one must focus on the grape chewing closely, as fits of laughter are known to erupt throughout the celebrations and could hinder the grape gobbling.
My New Year’s soiree just might have a bowl full of grapes out to ensure a year of luck. Let’s hope I make sure they are seedless…
Cheers to a New Year and the fact that I will be drinking this with my grapes.