New Year's Eve, The Chimes of New Year


The New Year's Eve Chimes are the short 36-second ritual that precedes the New Year's Eve celebrations. Arriving at 12:00 at night on December 31, it is traditional throughout Spain to eat 12 grapes following the rhythm set by 12 strokes; one for each month of the year. According to tradition, if you don't eat all 12 grapes, you won't have good luck the year that is about to begin. But, where does this tradition come from? There are several theories, but two are the most credible. The first is truly interesting because it involves two countries and a certain class struggle waged with the weapons of satire. During the 80s of the 19th century, the Spanish bourgeoisie would have imitated the French custom of drinking champagne and grapes to celebrate the new year. A few years later, some people from Madrid would have gone to Puerta del Sol to hear the midnight bells and would have brought grapes to imitate the newly acquired upper-class custom, as a form of mockery. The other theory is more prosaic and takes us to Alicante at the end of 1909, when grape growers in the area had surplus harvests. In order to sell the grapes, they would have invented the 12 chimes tradition.

New Year's Eve on the street

Whatever the origin, the truth is that the tradition is deeply ingrained, and in the street, at home or in a restaurant, most of Barcelonians will eat the grapes to the rhythm of the chimes. Then they will continue with the party where they are or they will go to a place or srhythm where New Year's Eve parties are held. When we say in the street, we refer to the srhythm where the greatest number of people are concentrated because tradition dictates it or because the city organizes a show in that place. In the case of Barcelona, ​​that srhythm has been Montjuïc for some years. Around the Magic Fountain there is a great show that culminates with the launching of fireworks reinforced with music and the dancing water of the Magic Fountain. Although this year, due to the pandemic, everything is going to be different.

The New Year's Eve Chimes the year of the pandemic: goodbye 2020 goodbye, hello 2021

This year there will be no show in Montjuïc, but there will be fireworks throughout the city. Coinciding with the twelve chimes, which can be heard from everywhere, twelve glowing palm trees will be thrown in each of the ten districts of Barcelona. These decentralized bells and the launching of the palm trees will be the prelude to a great fireworks show that will be visible from most of the city. Fireworks will be launched for 15 minutes at a rhythm and height sufficient for the audience to enjoy a spectacular view even from afar. So this year, go out to your balcony or terrace, look out the window or go up to the roof of your building. If you can't do any of that, remember that the show will be broadcast live on television.