New Years Eve in Barcelona

New Years Eve in Barcelona

After the lights and energy of Christmas, it’s time to see in the new year. This is an exciting and vibrant time of the year in many faiths and countries around the world. It’s a time to forgive and forget and to make those all important resolutions; most importantly, it’s a time to start afresh. Experience New Years Eve in a cosmopolitan city and spend your holiday in Barcelona.  

Keeping with tradition, the new year celebrations begin by eating twelve grapes, one for every time the clock chimes for midnight. In many Spanish places this is performed outside and the streets are covered with people eating grapes. In Barcelona, it is not seen as necessary to eat the grapes outside and many eat their grapes at home before venturing outside for the big party. 

Every club and venue is called into action at this time and usually organizes a special new year party for which tickets are issued in most cases. There are also super-sized parties held in venues across the country and some people choose to hire out their own private venue for a special party of their own. Others may be slightly more intimate and hold a party at their Barcelona accommodation for friends and family only. Although a diminishing tradition, some people wait to see the sun rise over a beach. Traditional food associated with new year is “churros”, a finger or banana shaped pastry and hot chocolate. During the New Years Eve time you can still find a lot of available Barcelona hotels and Barcelona apartments.

The first week of the new year is dedicated to children. On the night before the 5th January, the three kings – Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, disembark their ship at the harbour and there is a grand parade through the town with the kings and their pages – another opportunity for the children to get involved.  The kings are then left alone in the city to hide presents. It is customary to write a letter to the kings and request specific presents although they may like to throw in a few little surprises. 

Another traditional food is the tortell de Reis which means King’s cake. This is a cake with a difference as it has a figurine hidden inside it. The person who is given the slice containing the figurine is celebrated with a paper crown. The cake itself is a round and simple sponge cake which is made by every bakery in the city. The cake has another trick up its sleeve too as the person who is served the slice containing a “faba”, a type of bean, has to pay for the cake.

These traditions are not all necessarily followed to the letter although the majority will participate, especially in the precession of the kings. In Barcelona Christmas is accepted as a time for having fun with friends and most importantly family.

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