Budget Travel Tips: New Year’s Eve Traditions in Spain


As 2012 draws to a particularly dark and miserable close, it’s easier than ever for your thoughts to turn abroad and to sunnier climes. Thanks to Jet2holidays it’s also easier than ever to turn those thoughts into reality, and this winter, what could be better than to ring in the New Year in Spain?

That certainly sounds like a good idea. A cheap holiday deal can see you in the Costa del Sol within a couple of hours of taking off. Though we wouldn’t advise setting off with your heart set on sun, sea and sand at this time of year, if parties, good times and a touch of the exotic are what you look for then you will certainly find exactly what you want.

Spain, as with any other country, has its fair share of customs and traditions that make it a unique place to visit, and an even better place to unwind.

Family Traditions

For the Spanish, the Christmas period remains one fundamentally about family and tradition, with much of its strong Catholic population attending church services during the holiday. Parties and commercial presents take second place to nights in with the family, and Spanish children must patiently wait until the 6th of January for that new bike or games console, the arrival of the Magi, or the feast of the Epiphany.

Rather than a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for his reindeer, many Spanish children instead leave a clutch of grass for the Magi’s camels, and receive their presents not from Father Christmas but from the Wise Man Balthazar. However, the same rules apply – he knows if you’ve been bad or good!

Grapes to See in the New Year

The religious calendar means Christmas doesn’t get under way until the 8th of December, and continues on until well into the New Year. If the relentless adverts and dreary high streets of Britain are leaving you a little jaded, you might do a lot worse than a sabbatical to Spain in order to recharge your Christmas spirit. But if it’s a New Year you’re after, Spain has that covered, too.

One particularly well publicised tradition is one that is a particularly easy to join in with, and a delicious one to boot. As midnight approaches, make sure you keep a portion of grapes to hand, for as the bells strike twelve to ring in the New Year, tradition says that you must eat one grape on every chime. If you can keep up, you’ll have good luck for each month of the New Year.

Joanna Owens/ author of the article
Hello, everyone! My name is Joanna Owens, and I'm a tourist guide. One of the things that sets me apart as a tourist guide is my enthusiasm and passion for what I do. I believe that travel should be about more than just checking off items on a bucket list; it should be about experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and discovering the world in all its beauty and complexity. I strive to create tours and experiences that are not only informative but also engaging and interactive, so that my clients can truly immerse themselves in the places they visit.
Budget Travel Tips