Friday, 2 January 2015

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

That's 'Happy New Year', I'm sure you know that.
But do you know the thirteen essential items for a happy Spanish new year?

Answer: Un reloj y doce uvas!

(That's a clock... and twelve grapes.)

It's a tradition in Spain to gather with friends and eat one grape with each 'bong' of the midnight chimes. It's so popular that you can buy your twelve grapes ready-skinned in most supermarkets. (Although I'll warn you, from experience, that they're very slippery: the lid of the tin is quite sharp: and the pressure of the bells clanging away makes for a pretty hectic New Year! One of our grapes ended up rolling around the town square!)

In the province of Castellón de la Plana (Valencia), the local Chamber of Commerce is trying to establish a new tradition (which might also help out the local farmers), 'Doce gajos en nochevieja'. Instead of eating twelve grapes, the good farmers of Castellón are suggesting twelve segments of clementina. (Might be easier to handle than twelve slippery uvas!)

12 Gajos de Nochevieja

So, a Happy New Year was had by all... Well, not quite.
José Luis Pereñiguez of Canal Sur (Andalucian TV station) has lost his job for cutting into the striking of the bells with adverts. In the first video of the following newspaper article you can see what viewers saw on their screens. The second video shows the reaction of a family who (for reasons best known to themselves) had decided to record the event for posterity. 


It soon became clear that quite a few families record their New Year grape- (or clementina-) eating festivities, as dozens of videos began to appear on Youtube. Some of them are hilarious...


The next one features a brewing family row about who suggested watching the bells on Canal Sur... 

Family row

I must say, what I notice most is how good-natured the response usually is. But then, the videos are still being posted...

And BTW, don't worry if you find it difficult to understand what some of the people are saying, Andalucia is famous (even among Spaniards) for having an almost impossibly incomprehensible accent. And anyway, words aren't necessary, the faces tell the whole story...

Happy New Year!

If you enjoyed this resource, you might enjoy reading about my life here in Spain as an immersion teacher of a class of primary children. Zen Kyu Maestro: An English Teacher´s Spanish Adventure is published as an eBook by Monday Books. There´s a free sample chapter available to download here: Zen Kyu Maestro

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