New Year’s Eve, Nochevieja as it is called in Spanish, is approaching. In Spain, you traditionally celebrate it with family dinner, so you don’t primarily celebrate it with your friends. The food served is similar to that on Christmas Eve. Midnight is celebrated in a special way by eating twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock. The official countdown is always taking place at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where thousands of people gather to count in the New Year and to see the fireworks. A good advice is to get there in time to follow the festivities at close range.
Those who are not able to be at Puerta del Sol normally follow the celebrations on TV. When the clock starts to chime everybody put a grape in their mouth, the idea is to finish all the twelve grapes before the New Year starts. This is actually pretty tricky as you need to do it really fast and many people don’t finish on time (which is supposed to mean bad luck). Another thing that is said to bring luck is to wear red underwear, some argue that it should be worn inside out, and be a gift. There are also those who say you should wear red underwear if you want passion and love but yellow if you want luck.
After midnight you usually gather with your friends, at least if you want to continue the party. Which is something most people choose to do, in many Spanish towns, it is tradition to continue partying until late next day. In many cities, especially the largest, you buy tickets to New Years parties at clubs long before this day. These tickets can cost between 20 € and 100 €, on the website below, you can find some of the clubs that are throwing New Year’s parties: Nocheviejamadrid.com
If you don’t want to spend much money, there are other options in Madrid. However, you should plan where to go before, because many places that normally don’t have an entrance fee could have it on this particular night. One suggestion is to go to the areas Tribunal or Lavapies. Both areas are a bit more relaxed and this is a good option if you want a more modest New Year’s Eve.
Early next morning the tradition is to have a breakfast of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate and a kind of fried pastry).