Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Twelve lucky grapes

Tonight when the clock (Reloj de la Gobernación) on the old Post Office (Casa de Correos) in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid starts chiming midnight  people all over Spain will start popping grapes into their mouth trying to eat at the rythm of the boings.

If you manage to eat all twelve grapes in the alloted time then the idea is that you will have a prosperous year.

The tradition appears to have started at the very end of the Nineteenth Century in Madrid but it was popularised all over Spain in 1909 by grape growers from Murcia and Alicante who had a glut of grapes and found a clever way to shift them.

The sorry looking white examples in the photo will provide the twenty four grapes for Maggie and me. They have been sitting on the one vine that we have in our garden which grows reasonably well. I think it may be because its roots are very close to our cess pit! We covered the bunches with paper bags back in October to try and keep the grapes relatively fit quite a while after they are ready for picking. I have no idea why we get black and white grapes from the same vine but we do.

¡Feliz Año!

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