2020 is finally coming to an end and despite this year’s restrictions, the most representative elements of New Year’s celebration in Spain will be present tonight to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021.

Nochevieja” (New Year’s Eve) is usually a celebration with family and friends. It’s an occasion to dress up, and tradition says one should wear red underwear for good luck in the upcoming year. Also, many people buy the so called “cotillon”, a small party set which contains a few party items such as a party hat, a mask, a party blower or streamers.

For dinner, it’s very common to gather with family and have a special meal with expensive or exclusive products such as caviar, lobster or “jamón de bellota”. After the dessert (some more “turrones”), it’s time to wash and prepare the grapes while watching one of the many music and entertainment shows for NYE on tv.

Famous tv presenters and artists conduct these shows, which live stream the countdown to the new year. It starts with 4 rings, called “los cuartos” (the quarters) and then the tradition is to eat the 12 grapes as the bell rings 12 times into the new year (“las 12 campanadas”). Be careful not to start with the grapes during the quarters!! Many people watch this live in their cities’ landmarks, the most popular location being the Plaza del Sol in Madrid, which will be empty this year.

After midnight many people send text messages to friends and family saying “¡Feliz año nuevo!” and it’s popular to go partying in clubs, which offer special NYE deals usually above 30€ for entrance and a drink.

What are NYE traditions in your country? How do you celebrate?

Let us know in the comments!


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