Discover What You Eat in Spain at New Year’s Day for Good Luck!

In Spain, New Year’s Day is a time to eat traditional foods believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Many of these dishes are deeply rooted in Spanish culture and have become an essential part of the celebrations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Spanish New Year’s Day traditions involve eating specific foods for good luck and prosperity.
  • One iconic tradition is eating twelve grapes at midnight, symbolizing luck and prosperity for each month of the year.
  • Participating in the Spanish Christmas lottery, known as El Gordo, is also believed to bring good luck for the coming year.
  • Lentil soup is a common New Year’s Day dish in Spain, symbolizing wealth and prosperity.
  • Wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is a tradition associated with love and romance in Spain.

Twelve Lucky Grapes: A Spanish New Year’s Day Tradition

When it comes to celebrating New Year’s Day in Spain, there is one tradition that stands out above the rest – eating twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight. This unique custom has been a part of Spanish culture for decades and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

Each grape represents a month of the year, and by consuming all twelve grapes in sync with the chimes of the clock, it is believed that you will have good fortune for each month. The tradition originated in the early 20th century when grape growers in the Alicante region had a surplus harvest and came up with the idea to promote their product. It quickly caught on and has since become an integral part of New Year’s Eve celebrations across Spain.

“Eating the twelve grapes is like a race against the clock,” says Maria Gomez, a local resident of Madrid.

“It’s a fun and lively tradition that brings families and friends together. We all gather around the TV or radio, waiting for the clock tower in Puerta del Sol to chime. And when it does, we start eating the grapes, one by one, making sure to finish before the last chime. It’s an exciting moment that signifies new beginnings and hopes for a prosperous year ahead.”

The tradition of eating twelve lucky grapes has become so popular that it has even spread to other Spanish-speaking countries and communities around the world. It is a festive and joyous way to welcome the New Year, filled with laughter, anticipation, and the belief that good luck is just a grape away. So, if you find yourself in Spain on New Year’s Eve, make sure to grab a bunch of grapes and join in on this unique and delightful tradition.

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Lottery Luck

In Spain, the Christmas lottery, El Gordo, is much more than just a game of chance – it is deeply rooted in New Year’s Day traditions and believed to bring good luck for the coming year. Many Spaniards participate in the lottery, hoping to secure a win that will provide them with financial prosperity and happiness. This tradition has become a part of the holiday season, with excitement and anticipation building as the day of the lottery draw approaches.

Alongside the act of participating in the lottery, there are also various superstitions and rituals associated with increasing the chances of winning. Some people believe that rubbing the lottery ticket against a pregnant woman’s belly will bring luck, while others carry an old iron key with their ticket as a symbol of unlocking fortune. These practices add an extra layer of excitement and belief in the power of the lottery as a harbinger of good luck.

Regardless of the outcome, the Christmas lottery in Spain brings communities together as they eagerly await the results, often watched live on TV or listened to on the radio. It is an enjoyable and traditional way for Spaniards to celebrate the holiday season and enter the new year with hope and anticipation for what lies ahead.

Spanish lottery ticket

Benefits of Lentil Soup: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Lentil soup not only carries cultural significance but also offers numerous health benefits. These legumes are packed with nutrients, making them a nutritious addition to any meal. Here are some of the benefits of lentils:

  • High in protein: Lentils are an excellent plant-based source of protein, making them a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Rich in fiber: Lentils are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut.
  • Low in fat: Lentils are naturally low in fat, making them a healthy choice for those watching their fat intake.
  • Abundance of vitamins and minerals: Lentils contain essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and folate.

By incorporating lentil soup into your New Year’s Day menu, you not only embrace a cherished Spanish tradition but also nourish your body with a nutritious and delicious dish.

Cupid’s Red Underthings

When it comes to New Year’s Eve traditions in Spain, one unique and intriguing custom stands out – wearing red underwear. This tradition is especially popular among those who are looking for love and romance in the coming year. The color red is associated with passion and excitement, and it is believed that by wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve, you can attract love and positive relationships into your life.

Some variations of this tradition involve giving away the red underwear by the end of the night, symbolizing the desire to pass on the good luck and find true love. This act of sharing adds a touch of camaraderie and sparks hope for finding a soulmate in the year ahead.

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So, if you’re looking to add a little extra luck and love to your New Year’s celebrations, why not try embracing this Spanish tradition? Whether you choose to wear red underwear or gift it to someone else, it’s a fun and lighthearted way to welcome the new year with open arms and an open heart.

Luckily in Love: Spanish New Year’s Day Traditions

“Wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is a common tradition in Spain, especially for those who are looking for love. The color red is associated with passion and romance, and it is believed that wearing red underwear can attract love and positive relationships in the new year,” says Juan Carlos, a Spanish local who has been practicing this tradition for years.

“I remember my grandmother telling me about this tradition when I was a child. She would always make sure to have a pair of red underwear ready for me to wear on New Year’s Eve. It became such a fun and cherished ritual for our family,” Juan Carlos recalls.

While the origins of this tradition are not entirely clear, it has become deeply ingrained in Spanish culture and is eagerly anticipated each year. Whether it’s a vibrant red lace thong or a cozy pair of red briefs, wearing red underwear is believed to bring about a year filled with love, happiness, and passionate connections.

Gold and a Glass of Cava

Another fascinating tradition in Spain for New Year’s Eve is the act of dropping a gold object into a glass of cava, a sparkling wine. This custom is believed to bring not just good luck, but actual wealth and fortune in the new year. The type of gold object used can vary, and each symbolizes a different aspect of life. For example, a wedding ring may represent fidelity, while a strawberry may symbolize love. During the toast, it is customary to drink the entire glass of cava and retrieve the golden object, sealing the good luck for the year ahead.

Spanish New Year's Day traditions

Embrace the Traditions

Spanish New Year’s Day traditions, including starting the year on the right foot, offer a unique opportunity to infuse your own celebrations with meaning and purpose. By incorporating these customs into your own festivities, you can tap into the rich cultural heritage and invite good luck and prosperity into your life.

So, as the new year approaches, take a moment to reflect on the importance of starting on the right foot. Consider how you can incorporate this tradition into your own celebration and set a positive tone for the future. Whether it’s taking that first step with your right foot or finding your own symbolic gesture, embrace the power of intention and welcome the new year with optimism and hope.


New Year’s Day in Spain is a time of celebration, reflection, and hope for the future. The traditional dishes eaten on this day are believed to invite good luck, prosperity, and happiness into the lives of Spaniards. Whether it’s indulging in twelve grapes at midnight, savoring a bowl of hearty lentil soup, or participating in the excitement of the Christmas lottery, these customs connect families and communities and add a special touch to the holiday season.

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By incorporating some of these Spanish traditions into your own New Year’s Day celebrations, you can start the year off with a little extra luck and good fortune. Embrace the symbolism and rituals that have been passed down through generations, and join in the festivities that have become an integral part of Spanish culture. So, why not try eating the twelve lucky grapes, preparing a delicious lentil soup, or even wearing red underwear to attract love and positive relationships in the new year?

Discover the joy of partaking in these typical dishes and food traditions of Spain on New Year’s Day. Experience the sense of unity and optimism that permeate the air as the clock strikes midnight. Embrace the belief that what you eat and the actions you take can shape your luck and fortune. Start the year on the right foot by immersing yourself in the customs that have stood the test of time and continue to bring joy and good fortune to countless individuals across Spain.


What are some traditional foods eaten in Spain on New Year’s Day for good luck?

Some traditional foods eaten in Spain on New Year’s Day for good luck include twelve grapes, lentil soup, and red underwear.

Why do people in Spain eat twelve grapes on New Year’s Eve?

Eating twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for each month of the coming year.

What is the significance of lentil soup on New Year’s Day in Spain?

Lentil soup is believed to symbolize wealth and prosperity for the year ahead, as each tiny round lentil represents a coin.

Why do people in Spain wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve?

Wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is believed to attract love and positive relationships in the new year.

What is the tradition of dropping a gold object into a glass of cava?

Dropping a gold object into a glass of cava is believed to bring good luck and actual wealth in the new year.

Why is it important to start the new year on the right foot in Spain?

Starting the new year on the right foot is believed to set the tone for good fortune and happiness in the coming year.

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My name is Sandra, and I am the head content creator of We created this website to share our thoughts and experiences on the topic of luck and to explore the many different ways people think about and talk about luck in their lives.

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