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1st Years Actively Explore Spanish Traditions



Despite the constraints of Remote Learning, Ms. López engaged in some very active learning in her online 1st Year class recently.

1st year Spanish students are doing weekly challenges in which they explore the traditions and the culture of Spain and Spanish speaking countries.

This time students were learning about the New Year´s Eve celebration which involves eating "the twelve grapes"( Las doce uvas de la suerte or "The twelve grapes of luck"). A tradition that consists of eating a single grape with each clock chime on the strike of midnight on the 31st December to welcome in the New Year.

The twelve grapes date back from at least 1895 but became established in 1909. In December of that year, some of Alicante's vine growers popularized this custom to sell an abundance of grapes from an excellent harvest. According to the tradition, eating the twelve grapes leads to a year of good luck and prosperity.

The Puerta del Sol in Madrid is the most famous place it is practiced and where the tradition first started. The twelve grapes are associated with the time ball and clock of the Royal House of the Post Office in Puerta del Sol, from where they ring in the New Year and broadcast it on major Spanish television channels since 1962.

People also partake in the main squares of cities all around the country. This tradition has also been adopted in places with a broad cultural association with Spain and Latin American countries. It is very much part of the Hispanic Christmas festivities.


As part of the Specification for the new Junior Cycle in Spanish, students have to be familiar with the traditions of Spanish speaking countries and their cultural aspects. In the video students are eating the twelve grapes and wishing each other Feliz año nuevo (Happy New Year). At the same time they also practise numbers and greetings. We wish a belated Happy New Year to all students and teachers in Chanel College for 2021. ¡Feliz año nuevo!