While it might seem a strange tradition to outsiders, as the town clock strikes the last twelve seconds of the year, Spaniards try and eat one grape for each second. They do this because it is said to bring you good luck during each of the forthcoming twelve months. Eating twelve grapes to welcome in the New Year is a tradition that dates back to 1895 but became established in the national psyche around 1909.
In December of that year, Alicante wine growers had a bumper harvest of grapes and promoted the superstition to sell surplus grapes. It is believed that in some areas of the country, rather than bringing you good luck, eating twelve grapes before midnight wards off witches and evil spirits.
Today people either gather in the main town square or watch the Post Office clock in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, as it counts down to midnight on live television.
If you have never done it, give it a go as it’s not as easy as you might think.