Hola From Tenerife

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get an (ir)regular ray of Tenerife sunshine in your inbox. Just enter your email address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Close

Secret Tenerife is recognised as the most detailed English language website on the island. If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed or Subscribe by email to stay up to date. For more news and events, please like and follow our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Celebrating the New Year in Tenerife

Lucky Grapes

On New Year's Eve, Nochevieja (which translates better to Old Year's Night), or San Silvestre as it is called in Spain, celebrations revolve around the eating of the grapes at midnight.

The idea is to eat twelve "lucky" grapes (Uvas de la Suerte), one grape on each stroke of the clock - all suitably and necessarily (it is extremely difficult to do) washed down with Cava: Spanish bubbly - a tradition that is believed to have come from the ancient wine-growers.

The New Year is heralded in Spain via the twelve chimes from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid: an hour later in the Canaries (actually, the same time as the UK) (Twice on TV, if you watch a Spanish channel and a Canarian one) or locally, with those of the Cabildo (Island Corporation) building in Santa Cruz in Tenerife or their counterpart in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The two locations take it in turns.

New Year's Eve is a night for going out. After the chimes, there will usually be fireworks and in many places, there will be a Verbena: all-night street-party with dancing to a Salsa band or a disco.

Another custom (or superstition, if you prefer, but even those who aren't superstitious will probably observe these "just in case") is to wear your very best, new clothes for this party. Wearing new clothes symbolises starting the year from scratch. You should also wear red underwear because it's the colour of happiness and good luck.

In Santa Cruz, the Plaza de España will be packed with people and atmosphere if you're looking for fun, as will the church square in Los Cristianos, if you happen to be in the south.

But most large and even small towns have New Years' parties. In Garachico, we've danced to an open air disco (yeah, Jan 1 in the open air, at night, te he) in the town square in front of the bandstand and watched the fireworks set off from the Town Hall roof. There were "party bags" (consisting of the obligatory silly hat, noise makers and packet of grapes) laid on for anyone who turned up. And you get to keep company with the big fish in these small ponds, as the Mayor of Garachico was host.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Printfriendly

, which was first published on 5 February 2004. You may not realise this, but we don't get paid for this work, which takes many hours staying up to date with events and translating information. If you find this site interesting or useful, please consider making a donation so work can continue.

Secret Tenerife is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

Hola From Tenerife

If you enjoyed this post or found it useful, subscribe to our free newsletter and get regular rays of Tenerife sunshine in your inbox. Just enter your email address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner