Well we know they take celebrations rather seriously in Spain…
- The first New Year’s Eve in Spain usually takes place on the second Thursday before Christmas. It is the Noche Vieja Universitaria (University’s New Year), which
takes place in Salamanca. The University New Year is for students of the famous university in Salamanca who will be unable to celebrate the normal New Year with their friends because of family commitments. The students pretend it is not mid-December and go through all the usual New Year’s Eve traditions, including the famous grapeeating!
- Next up is midday (not midnight) on December 30, in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, for the bell-ringing rehearsal. Again, this celebration is for those who can’t attend
the real celebration because of prior commitments or for those who can’t handle the idea of all the crowds that will congregate on the actual day (Puerta del Sol
- Later on the same day is the Alternative Bell-Ringing for Geeks which takes place at Plaza de Castilla, in front of the tree they have set up there! The Spanish friki (geek or nerd) subculture is quite big.
- Also on December 30, at 8pm, the town of Lepe celebrates New Year’s Eve early (and they celebrate it again the following day too!).
- Then, of course, comes the real New Year’s Eve on December 31. You may be surprised that, for a country famous for its drinking, that most bars will be closed on the stroke of midnight. This is because most people spend the time with their families. However, the city’s main square will certainly give you that communal New Year’s feeling. Of course they do party, but it doesn’t start until later.
- Lastly, there is New Year’s Eve in August, which takes place in the tiny village of Berchules on the first Saturday of the month. Why? Because a power cut in the midnineties meant that New Year’s Eve had to be cancelled, so they rescheduled the big event for August. The re-run was such a success that they’ve run this second New Year ever since!
Whatever you do, don’t forget your 12 grapes...