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Why 2019 is coming 12 seconds late in Spain

March 19, 2019

Why 2019 is coming 12 seconds late in Spain

Hi there,

It's the last day of December, which means that, in just a matter of hours, it's time for us to take our first step into a new year of wonder and discovery.

However, here in Barcelona, 2019 will come 12 seconds late.

Why?

It's because of a tradition we call  Las Doce Uvas de la Suerte ("The Twelve Grapes of Luck"). This is something we do with our families every year.

First, we all share a meal together.

In front of every person, next to their  Sagrada luxury champagne flute, are twelve green grapes, lined up just like in the photo above.

Then, when midnight is drawing near, we all turn to face the television. There's always a live feed of a big clock, and a couple of presenters to take us into the new year. As soon as the new year starts, the big clock will strike twelve times — once every second — to symbolize the twelve months of the new year. We all have to eat and swallow a grape on each of the strikes, in order to ensure health, prosperity, and happiness for each month.

(The TV presenters eat their grapes with us too!)

After the twelve strikes, we all hug and kiss each other, and the new year begins — 12 seconds later than everywhere else in Western Europe.

And of course, we welcome it with a glass of cava, (which, as you probably know, is Catalonian champagne) and a toast to the year ahead.

So, this is what I'll be doing later this evening.

However you celebrate New Year's Eve, I hope that 2018 was good to you. May 2019 bring health, happiness, and prosperity to you and all your family.

Have a good one — from all of us here at Cornet Barcelona.

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