It’s A Tradition / Es Una Tradición

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

Other than crossing myself whenever I pass a statue of “The Virgin,” I enjoy observing many Spanish traditions. There is a New Year’s Eve tradition of consuming 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, one at each “bong” of the clock. If you’re successful, you’re promised a year of prosperity. Some people believe it keeps away evil spirits. It doesn’t, obviously, keep away the screwball fashion choices of some of the celebrity hosts of the national New Year’s Eve shows.

We returned to friends’ Elena and Tynan’s house for New Year’s Eve dinner. Another great meal and great company. Traditional foods and even traditional liquor. Pacharán (Patxaran in Basque) is a liqueur that goes back to the Middle Ages. It’s from primarily the northern region of Navarre and the Basque Country. Elena, originally from the north, makes it herself, as is tradition, from crushed and fermented sloes (the berries of the blackthorn tree). It’s potent, indescribable, and I love it. Other annual traditions are pictured.

Además de cruzarme cada vez que paso una estatua de “La Virgen”, disfruto observando muchas tradiciones españolas. Hay una tradición de Nochebuena de consumir 12 uvas a la medianoche, una en cada “bong” del reloj. Si tienes éxito, te prometen un año de prosperidad. Algunas personas creen que aleja a los malos espíritus. Obviamente, no mantiene alejadas las malas opciones de moda de algunos de los anfitriones famosos de los programas nacionales de Nochevieja.

Regresamos a la casa de nuestros amigos Elena y Tynan para la cena de Nochevieja. Otra gran comida y gran compañía. Alimentos tradicionales e incluso licores tradicionales. Pacharán (Patxaran) es un licor que se remonta a la Edad Media. Es principalmente de la región norte de Navarra y del País Vasco. Elena, originaria del norte, lo hacen ellos mismos, como es tradición, a partir de endrinas trituradas y fermentadas (las bayas del árbol de endrino negro). Es potente, indescriptible, y me encanta. Otras tradiciones anuales son representadas aquí.

Ma-TAY-oohss, or as we called it in the States “ma-TOOHSS.” My mother had a nearly 50-year-old bottle in the kitchen. / En el EEUU lo llamamos ma-TUS. Mi madre tenía una botella de casí 50 años en la cocina.
He is celebrity chef Alberto Chicote. She is Cristina Pedroche; actor, presenter, comedian and annual fashion icon mistake. / Él es el chef famoso Alberto Chicote. Ella es Cristina Pedroche; actriz, presentadora, comediante, e icono error anual de la moda.
San Geraldo’s after-dinner bread and [meatball] gravy. / El pan y salsa [de albóndigas] de San Geraldo.
My 12 grapes and my pacharán. / Mis 12 uvas y mi pacharán.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

26 thoughts on “It’s A Tradition / Es Una Tradición”

  1. Looks like you had a wonderful day,
    We had snow on New Year’s Morning ! Has to be a good omen ?

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Parsnip,
      We had beach weather Christmas morning. I don’t know if it’s a good omen, but a better omen than snow here.

  2. You cross yourself or did you mean you are cross with the Virgin? I ate 12 grapes last year and let’s just say, the grapes theory can go to hell!

    1. Kathleen,
      Never cross myself and not sure what to say about the virgin. And yeah so much for the 12 grapes!.

  3. OMG! Mateus!! Haven’t seen THAT in a while!!
    As the freezing rain is coming down over the already fallen snow, let me wish you all a Happy New Year!!

    1. Jim,
      I was shocked the first time I saw Mateus on their table… and even more shocked when I heard it pronounced.

  4. We had a quiet evening at home. A small bottle of champaign, smoked salmon and caviar. I made an amazing cheese spread this year. Happy New Year!

    1. David,
      Our evening was very relaxed. I don’t drink much and drank too much for me. A beer, two pacharanes and a glass of champagne.

    1. Mistress Maddie,
      Well, of course I did. I’m a pro. Well, I’ve never actually been paid but I AM proficient.

  5. We used to get stinko drunk on Mateus when we were penniless university students because it was cheap to buy. Happy New Years to you, San Geraldo and the cats!

    1. Debra,
      Do you remember Boone’s Farm Apple Wine and Strawberry Hill? Mateus was so much classier!

  6. After watching Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper discus the sex of Andy’s new baby while they giggled incessantly……We retired… awaken in 2019 alive and well……. Happy New Year’s to the both of you! Cheers and Mateus no more…….too many university stories to be told !

    1. Ron,
      I think we came out ahead with what we watched. At least the clothes were entertaining. Or maybe it was the Mateus and pacharán.

  7. We had our bubbly with dinner of Korean chicken wings and a lovely green salad at 7:30 and were in bed by 10:00. Didn’t hear any sounds of celebration from the village, probably because the waves were so loud. Woke to a beautiful sunny day which has since clouded over. Still warm enough for shorts – both legs the same length, thank you very much. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2019.’

    1. Wilma,
      You should start the shorts trend there… better than the New Year’s get-ups.

    1. Urspo,
      Raisins do NOT count, although I have a friend who hates grapes so eats 12 jelly beans instead. Those don’t count either. Finding grapes here is no problem. They actually package them especially for nochevieja. Tins, bags lastic containers. 12 to a pack. Without seeds… usually.

  8. Now that’s a Mateus of a different color! A propos of nothing, we watched “The Fall of the Roman Empire” on television last night. It was filmed entirely in Spain, around Madrid if I’m not mistaken. Pretty movie. I kept expecting Marcus Aurelius to whip out his light saber, but it didn’t happen.

      1. Kirk:
        Although Elena has it on hand, I haven’t tried it since around 1972. I remember liking it though.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Well… I replied yesterday or so I thought! We also just watched Roman Empire! And, yes, I had no idea Ma-TOOS came in different “colors.”

Please share your thoughts...