A Lucky Tradition

December 27, 2017

As the end of the year approaches, it’s natural for one to reflect on the year past and look forward to what’s ahead. A brand-new year to pick up new hobbies, stop old habits and finally read that book you bought last January. Whether you fit all or none of the above, don’t worry: This post isn’t one to give you tips and tricks on how to keep your New Year’s resolution. Instead, I’m going to share my favorite New Year’s tradition: Eating 12 grapes at midnight to coincide with each church-bell strike.

The 12-grape tradition started in Spain and has crossed over to Mexico, which is how my family and I came to participate every midnight on New Year’s Eve. At the beginning of the evening, everyone is given twelve green grapes. The mission is quite simple: When you hear the first bell chime, you race to eat your first grape and recite (in your head) your first wish.

With every bell chime, you eat another and repeat the process. If you’re not near a clock tower or church, which is likely the most common scenario, the idea is to try and eat the grapes in the first twelve seconds of the new year. As you can imagine, especially if your grapes are generously large, this could become quite difficult to complete. The timing is really just for those competitive family members, like myself, to see who can finish eating them first. Whoever does has already started the year off right by achieving the first task of the year. Ultimately, the most important objective is to finish all twelve grapes — that’s it.

Some say farmers started the tradition to sell more grapes and make a profit right before the new year. If they did, they would have made great marketing and advertising professionals, considering this tradition has been around for more than a century.

I’ll be the first to admit that setting a resolution can seem daunting and might set you up for failure before the year even starts. With this tradition, you’re set up for a lucky and successful year, considering you’re given twelve wishes to look forward to all year round. In recent years, I’ve been modifying this tradition to include both goals and wishes to cover the resolution bit.

So, this year before the champagne and New Year’s smooch, be sure to line up your twelve grapes for a lucky 2018!

Peep the mini bell!

Ringing in the new year, literally.