To ring in the New Year in Spain, what is traditionally eaten at the stroke of midnight?
Answer: On New Year’s Eve, Spaniards traditionally eat 12 grapes at midnight; one grape for each stroke of the clock to represent the 12 months of the New Year. Eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve is a Spanish tradition and superstition to bring good fortune in the coming year.
The goal for each person participating in the New Year’s Eve tradition is to swallow all 12 grapes before the last stroke of midnight. The tradition began in 1909 as a way to consume the grape surplus in the Alicante region.
The Twelve Grapes is a Spanish tradition that dates back from at least 1895 but became established in 1909. In December of that year, some alicantese vine growers popularized this custom to better sell huge amounts of grapes from an excellent harvest.