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Recipe for the perfect New Year break

New Year breaks in SpainTake one comfortable, stylish and characterful hotel in an idyllic rural location; add a few leisurely walks in the surrounding countryside; stir in a multi-course gala dinner of local delicacies; mix thoroughly with fellow villagers in the crowded square; top it off with a glass or two of cava and a bunch of grapes – oh, and don’t forget to share your New Year break with someone special.

From the wooded hills of Aracena to the mountains of Alicante and from the pueblo blanco of Grazalema to the small fishing port of Garachico, New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time to be in these otherwise unassuming places, the evening celebrated in time-honoured fashion – perhaps a joyous fiesta of lively music, traditional dancing, a few drinks, and maybe some fireworks – or any combination of these.

"And why the grapes?" I hear you ask. Well, these are no ordinary grapes, of course – these are Las doce uvas de la suerte, or ‘the twelve lucky grapes’ that form an integral part of New Year’s Eve celebrations in many parts of Spain. As midnight approaches, a hush descends over the crowd in the square, grapes at the ready. The idea is to eat a grape with each toll of the midnight bell (not as easy as it sounds!), a tradition which started back in 1895 after a particularly good grape harvest. Eating the grapes this way not only wards off the devil and bad luck but also promises a year of prosperity for the community.

End the night with a glass or two of something bubbly, before ambling back to your hotel through the good-natured crowds – “Próspero Año Nuevo!
New Year breaks in Spain

[Photos courtesy Jack Montgomery, Buzztrips].
Posted: 30/10/2012 09:51:23 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: festivals, gastronomy, heritage, islands, slow, Spain


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