Hola 2012! We've all said adios to 2011 (it was a good year - we got married, we moved to Spain, Graham learned to order a beer in Spanish) but the holiday season isn't over yet here in Spain. While people in the States are already taking down their Christmas trees, putting away the Mannheim Steamroller CDs, and folding their ugly sweaters, the Spanish are still in full swing.The Christmas season starts on Christmas Eve, when it's common for families to have a traditional dinner and attend midnight mass. The season ends on January 6th, with Three Kings Day (Los Tres Reyes Magos). You know who we're talking about - the Three Wise Men, of Christmas carol fame. According to legend, the Three Kings deliver gifts on their camels to good boys and girls. They leave food and water for the Kings and their camels and wake in the morning to find
In between those holidays falls New Year's Eve, which is celebrated in other Spanish and European cities with street parties and fireworks. Not aqui in Puerto. While bars and streets around the world are filling up, people in Puerto head to family dinners (yes, another family dinner). So what is a group of Americans to do on New Year's Eve, far away from friends and family? Have dinner at an Asian restaurant and then hit the local Irish pub, of course!
We were surrounded by other American military members and ex-pats, but we still participated in one Spanish tradition - 12 grapes! Before the last chime of the clock at midnight, you have to eat all 12 grapes, so that your new year is filled with luck and prosperity. The bar handed out cups of pre-counted grapes just before midnight.
|Our midnight supplies.|
|Us during the last moments of 2011, ready with our grapes.|