Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year’s Eve: Ushering 2020 out the door

Make sure your red undies are ready for the New Year

Activities for New Year's Eve, Nochevieja, this year will not include the traditional New Year's Eve party in the Plaza de España, as events that involve a large concentration of people are still strictly prohibited because of the ongoing pandemic. Although, a virtual festival will see out the year from Granadilla, starting at 10:30 pm, with live performances by Orquestas Tropin and Deliciosa, broadcast via the town hall's Facebook page.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife will host the live broadcast by Radio Televisión Española (RTVE) of the New Year's Eve Chimes tonight, through the La 1 channel. A promotional video of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and, the sound of the twelve chimes will be crowned with a great fireworks display, organized by the City Council, in the five districts of the municipality simultaneously. The broadcast will also be available through

We've read reports where toasts will be made at mid-day instead of midnight in order to avoid the restrictions of the curfew, which is delayed to start at 01:00hrs. In other news, hotels, who don't have tourists to fill them, are offering dinner and accommodation deals to residents on New Year's Eve, as a solution to the problem of getting home in time.

What we can do from home, is to eat the twelve "lucky" grapes (Uvas de la Suerte), one grape on each stroke of the clock - all suitably washed down with Cava: Spanish bubbly - a tradition that is believed to have come from the ancient wine-growers. Others say this tradition only began in 1909, a year in which there was an excess of grape production in the Levante, Murcia and Alicante areas, so, to make a profit from the situation, they were put up for sale under the name of "lucky grapes" or "miracle grapes." Another hypothesis about the name of the ‘good luck grapes’ may be due to the fact that, since the farmers had such a good harvest year, they were related to abundance and prosperity. Who knows?

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 (admittedly, usually to 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.

One last event this year becomes a casualty of the pandemic, the XXXIX San Silvestre Lagunera 2020, an annual run that usually takes place in La Laguna on New Year's Eve - Saint Sylvester's Day, which has been postponed until further notice.