Happy 2018! Spending New Year’s in Spain
¡Hola todos y feliz año nuevo! I’ve just spent a week in Spain with my family. We’ve had an amazing time spending New Year’s together with my relatives in Spain, and we visited both Malaga and Córdoba. It’s been a well-deserved break for all of us and we’ve been able to relax, enjoy the sunshine and the amazing Spanish food!
Every time I visit Spain I am fascinated by the culture. There are so many differences between Spain and England, especially around their Christmas and New Year celebrations. The two comparisons I find the most interesting are:
We normally had breakfast at about 11am, followed by a huge lunch at 3pm and then tea at 11pm. Lunch is the main meal in Spain where we’d have veg and rice/ pasta with meat or fish followed by fruit and cakes. For tea we’d just have a butty and some fruit. After lunch you normally have a siesta of an hour or two as you are so drained from eating so much!
The 6th of January is when children in Spain receive their Christmas presents from the 3 Kings (Melchior, Gaspar, Balthasar) who visit them on camels. On the 5th, there’s huge processions across Spain where crowds gather and the 3 Kings throw sweets out of huge floats. In Spain we have a huge meal on the 31st (rather than the 25th December) and New Year’s is definitely a family focused occasion where most will countdown with their families.
This New Year’s was my favourite yet and we spent New Year’s Eve with my grandparents and uncle in Córdoba. We went for a walk around the city in the morning (well more the afternoon as we woke up at 11am). As it was a Sunday, all of the shops and the huge department stores were shut but the streets were still packed as people were going to church and meeting with family for tapas. We had lunch at about 3pm and afterwards everyone went for a siesta for a couple of hours. The evening is my favourite time in Spain as it’s beautiful watching the sunset so we went for another walk and then went to a typical Spanish bar with Flamenco music for a drink.
We then came back home and helped make tea which was a huge meal to celebrate the last day of 2017. There were starters, tapas, meat, fish, potatoes, veg, figs, typical Spanish sweets and fruit. After our feast, exchanging gifts, and making a toast with champagne, we left the flat at 11:30pm to go to the main plaza in Córdoba. This year it was televised on national television as they pick a different city each year for the countdown. There was a huge stage and it was packed with groups of people with their bottles of champagne and their 12 grapes. Here you eat 12 grapes for the 12 gongs of the clock before midnight to bring you good luck in 2018. I guess it’s less interesting than some New Year traditions like in Switzerland dropping ice cream on the floor or in Colombia carrying a suitcase all day to bring a year filled with travelling, but I make sure to have my grapes each year! At around 1am we went to an Irish pub which was packed. Most of us went home at 3am but my uncle stayed out until 8am with his friends. I know I need to up my game when my 45 year old uncle can stay out 5 hours longer than me!
2017 has been such an amazing year and it’s been so special sharing the last days of 2017 with those I love the most. I’ve learnt so much this year, and my outlook on life has really changed. In 2018 I’ll work hard to try to achieve my goals but what’s most important to me is spending time with family and loved ones. My resolution for 2018 is to stay optimistic and to make the most of every day! I can’t wait to see what the year holds; though I know spending it at Warwick means it will be exciting, fun and extremely rewarding!
Happy 2018 and I’ll see you all soon 🙂 x