Cuban New Year’s Traditions…Champagne With Grapes

Cuban New Year's Traditions...Champagne With Grapes

Cuban New Year’s Traditions…Champagne With Grapes

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Looking for ideas for a New Year”s post, I came across this simple and beautiful way to toast the new year with family and friends. 

In Spain and Latin America  revelers mark the occasion by quickly eating a dozen grapes at the stroke of midnight. The fruit is said to be a predictor of the year ahead.  Each sweet grape represents a good month, each sour grape a less-than-lucky one. I personally detest the idea and refuse to eat them.  I always get nothing but sour grapes, or maybe they just taste that way when accompanied by Champagne.   Perhaps they would taste better with the sparkling dry Spanish cider which is the traditional drink of Spain for New Year’s and slightly sweeter.

On the other hand, I love the Cuban tradition of throwing a bucket of water out the back door to clear the evil spirits that have accumulated over the year.  This is a lot of fun, particularly if there are young children around or American or foreign friends. It is symbolic of throwing out the bad things accumulated over the past year and starting fresh and clean.  It is said that in old Havana nobody dared take a stroll at midnight on New Year’s Eve for fear of being hit with a splash of water coming out of doors and windows.

These are simple and fun traditions and it only takes a bucket of water and a bunch of grapes.  So, if you are having a party, even if you are not Cuban or Spanish, make them a part of the celebrations and give everyone a good laugh at the stroke of midnight.   All you need to do is thread 12 grapes onto each skewer and serve in a glass of Champagne just before the countdown.  You know what to do with the bucket of water….

Champagne/grape Idea courtesy of Martha Stewart Holidays
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