Bringing in the New Year in Andalucia

This time of year, all eyes are on Spain. For weeks people from around the world have been preparing for El Gordo. Those who cannot make it to Spain, are happy for the opportunity to bet on El Gordo Lottery here. Lottery lovers still have a chance of winning big with El Niño. The El Niño is an annual lottery in Madrid, Spain on the 6th of January.

12 Grapes


The New Years’ celebrations are prepared. On New Year’s eve, as the clock chimes down, it is a tradition in entire Spain to eat 12 grapes. Eating 12 grapes in the 12 seconds before the New Year arrives is supposed to bring good luck for each of the 12 months of the coming year. Some people prepare by removing the seeds ahead of time. Others buy their 12 (seedless) grapes canned for this purpose. You have mastered the tradition If you get all 12 grapes down in 12 seconds, without choking.

Lentils and Chorizo Stew


After consuming the grapes and the toasting of the New Year, most people celebrate at parties. Many young people hit the bars and clubs to party all night long. New Year’s day is another family event. People gather together with those they love and have a substantial celebratory meal. The traditional meal to bring in a lucky new year in Andalucia includes a big bowl of lentils and chorizo stew. Each lentil is supposed to represent a coin. Each coin you consume will come to you in the new year. What a tasty way to look for wealth.

Cava and Gold


Many people in Spain will be raising a glass of cava to toast in the new year. Those who want to become rich in the coming year will drop gold in the glass. For some, it will be a gold coin. For others, a gold ring, Those who want to add fidelity to their good fortune will use their gold wedding ring. 

Getting off on the Right Foot

There is a tradition in Spain that lots of people swear by. They believe that the first step you take in the new year should begin with your right foot. Some people take this first step as a group immediately following the sounding of the new year’s chimes. Others believe it is the first step in your home that matters. Some think it is the first step of leaving your home for the first time in the new year. To be on the safe side, just use your right foot to lead your steps the first day of the year, and you should be okay.

Cookies and Coins

San Antón is the patron saint of animals. It is said on his day, January 17th, San Antón cures animals of disease. Local bakeries in Andalucia will prepare a delightful round cookie, marked with a cross for the occasion. The cookies are called Panecillos. The custom is to save one of these cookies and a coin all year to ensure wealth for the new year.

Red Undies

If you make your way around the flea markets in Andalucia, you may notice a sea of red underwear hanging in the shop. This is part of another Spanish good luck tradition. The custom is if you want to find love in the coming year, be sure you wear red underclothes on New Year’s Eve. Some people say if you want to be extra lucky, present your red underwear to the person you want to fall in love with on New Year’s Day. 

Three Kings Parade

The new year officially begins at dusk on January 5th when the Three Kings Parade begins in the cities around Andalucia. The parade is in honour of the three Kings who travelled to see the Christ Child. The parade is colourful and meaningful for the people of Spain. The kings keep the action going by tossing candy to the children in the crowd.

Traditionally, children leave their shoes out on the night of January 5th, and in the night, the Kings visit them and leave gifts if they are good.


Saying goodbye to one year and hello to the next is marked with fun, food, music, and hope. This is true all over the world. But, in a region as lively and beautiful as Andalucia, it is beyond exciting. People across the area will celebrate together. As 2021 draws to a close, people are focusing on the future. We all hope and believe 2022 will be a banner year. We all believe it will bring our families health and prosperity. If you have never visited Andalucia, this is a perfect time. When customs are in full swing, you can get to know the people who live there just a little bit better. There is no better place than Andalucia to welcome in the New Year.

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Please note this is a collaborative article that was written by an external collaborator.

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