In this post we present one of the most deeply rooted traditions in Andalusia and Spain on New Year’s Eve, the New Year’s Eve Customs: The 12 grapes.

Why and since when is it a New Year’s Eve custom: The 12 grapes?

But if you want to know everything about New Year’s Eve and where to spend it in Eastern Andalusia, visit our blog. Because every day we bring you more information about Andalusia and the Costa del Sol.

New Year’s Eve Customs: The 12 grapes

Twelve grapes or lucky grapes is the tradition consisting of eating twelve grapes, one for each bell. In addition, it is always at 12 midnight from 31 December (New Year’s Eve) to 1 January. Because it brings good luck for the new year.

It is a tradition of Spanish origin, extended to other Latin American countries. In addition the most outstanding place where the grapes are taken is the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. In which is also the well-known clock of the Casa de Correos. But also in all the cities in the door or square of its City council the bells are heard and the grapes are eaten, in addition many people do it at home.

A little history of the custom of the 12 grapes

First of all on January 2, 1894, El Diario Siglo Futuro includes an article from the previous day in El Imparcial titled “Las uva bienhechoras”. In which it speaks of the custom “imported from France, but has acquired among us letter of nature”.

On New Year’s Eve 1895, a written reference appears on the twelve grapes, which symbolised the 12 months of the year. Also on this date it was the President of the Council of Ministers who dismissed the year 1895 with grapes and champagne.

The tradition of eating grapes has a precedent: a municipal side of the mayor of Madrid, José Abascal y Carredano, in December 1882, by which a quota of 1 duro (five pesetas) was imposed on all those who wanted to go out to receive the Magi. This tradition served to ridicule some outsiders who arrived those days and who were led to believe that the Three Wise Men had to be picked up in the early hours of January 5.

It was also used to drink and make as much noise as you wanted.  With this side, José Abascal deprived the people of Madrid of the possibility of enjoying a festive day in which almost everything was allowed. This, together with the custom of the wealthy families of drinking grapes and champagne at New Year’s Eve dinner, caused a group of locals to decide to ironize the bourgeois custom, going to the Puerta del Sol to drink the grapes at the sound of the bells. These are the antecedents that gave rise to this custom.

The other origin of New Year’s Eve Customs: The 12 grapes

But there’s also another theory. Which says that in 1909, farmers in Alicante, being in that year with surplus grapes and in order to bring to market production. They managed to popularize the custom and give it the definitive impulse that, since then, would end up turning it into a consolidated tradition.

In Malaga they are taken in the Plaza de la Constitución. In Granada in the Plaza del Carmen.

How you can arrive to Granada or Malaga

You will need a vehicle to explore Granada or Malaga and surroundings freely. If you don´t have yours You can make two choices:

  • The cheapest way to travel is the public But there is a big disvantage. Because you will have to worry about its schedules ant waste time waiting for them.
  • You can also book our car hire with Bahia Sexi. It will offer you freedoom and the privacy to explore the region in your own thing.

In addition, if you prefer second possibility, you can choose your favorite pick up point.

  1. Our service “Meet & Greet” is at you disposal at the Malaga Airport, where our staffs will meet you at arrivals area to deliver the car rental as soon as you arrive.
  2. We can also meet at the reception hall of your hotel. Where the staff will deliver the car rental in Granada or Malaga. In the same way, you can return the car rental without leaving accommodation. So you can give the key to the receptionist after you park near.
  3. Our staff will be glad to deliver you the rental car, when you visit our office.

You can book it online to choose your favorite pick up point on our website.

If you need only one round trip, but prefer to spend your holidays other than with your hands behind the wheel. At Bahia Sexi we have an airport transfer service that will solve all your problems.

Contact Autosexi through their website or by calling +34 677 441 628 and get the ride you need.