Have you ever spend the time of the end of the year in Spain and wondered, why everybody is so keen to get grapes? Supermarkets and fruit shops are full of them, even offering special packages of 12 grapes. But why?


Why do we eat the 12 grapes for New Year’s Eve in Tenerife?

The tradition has its origins in the late 19th century in Spain and spread from there to countries in Latin America, in Tenerife it was first reportedly realized in 1903. It consists of starting the New Year in a superstitious way: if you can manage to eat 12 grapes with every stroke of the clock in the first 12 seconds of the new year, you will be lucky. Every grape represents one of the 12 months, so that you better do not skip even one.

In Spain it is usually the clock of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, which is in the center of attention. People gather in front of it and television channels stream it to almost every household in Spain. In the Canary Islands the 12 chimes are broadcasted one hour later, either from El Hierro, Gran Canaria or from the Basilica of Candelaria in Tenerife.


The attempt to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds results often in a very funny and thrilling way to start the new year, especially if you try not to laugh or lose a grape on the way to your stomach. So you should try celebrating New Year’s Eve this time the Spanish way yourself, together with your family and friends. Let us give you a good advice: try to buy seedless grapes and better smaller ones in order to treat your jaws with care ;). Have a lot of fun with the 12 grapes for New Year’s Eve in Tenerife!


We wish you a happy and prosper New Year!


Your SMS Spanish Experience Team