We can’t believe we just celebrated our fifth New Year’s Eve in Spain. Time flies (like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana, as Groucho Marx said; I’ll probably have to explain that to San Geraldo).
We had a wonderful dinner with Tynan, Elena, their kids, and Elena’s mother who is here from Bilbao for the holidays. Unfortunately, and not for the first time in our more than 34 years together, San Geraldo and I did not make it to midnight. San Geraldo ran out of steam around 11:35 and we walked home and were in bed before fulfilling our Spanish New Year’s traditions.
The first tradition is the consumption of 12 grapes, one at each clock-chime at midnight to signify one good-luck grape for each month of the coming year. Our first year in Spain, San Geraldo bought grapes with seeds.
Yes, Mom, my stomach vineyard is thriving, alongside the watermelon patch, and the apple tree. And it’s all being held together by the bubble gum.
A tradition we just learned about this year is the wearing of red underwear. We did so, but I’ve since learned that the red underwear is supposed to be purchased for you by someone else. We bought our own. Our friend Jessica told us she’d buy us the underwear next time. I hope she doesn’t buy me a thong.
Anyway, the red underwear is supposed to ensure you fall in love. I already have.
Some people say you have to give away the underwear before the end of the night for this to work. I know many of you would enjoy that part of the tradition. (You know who you are.)
|A BLAST FROM THE PAST: REMEMBER MATEUS FROM THE ’60s & ’70s?
ELENA AND HER MOTHER (& OTHERS) TRADITIONALLY DRINK IT THIS TIME OF YEAR.*
Another tradition is to place a gold ring in the bottom of your glass of New Year’s eve “cava” (Spanish sparkling wine similar to Champagne). You’re supposed to drink the entire glass and then retrieve the gold ring. Not for me. I’d forget and would swallow the ring.
There are a number of other traditions that some people know about and some people don’t. Next year, I plan to stay awake long enough to eat my grapes and give away my new red underwear.
If you’re interested you can click here to read about our New Year’s Eve 2013.
*In New York, we used to pronounce it muh-TUCE. Of course, it’s really mah-TAY-uce.