Sunday, January 2, 2011

My husband & I had a fun New Year's Eve with a few of our closest friends.  The host of the party was mi amiga from Catalonia, Spain.  She planned to teach us a Spanish New Year's custom.  I had never heard of it & I was excited to learn a new tradition.

my twelve grapes
When we arrived, she explained the custom of 12 grapes in 12 seconds.  For each of the last twelve seconds of the new year, a bell rings.  At each chime, you have to eat one grape.  Or more accurately, you put one grape in your mouth.  If you complete the task, you will have good luck all year; if you don't, you will have bad luck.  Since I wanted nothing to do with bad luck, I was game.
 look at all that luck

She prepared the bowls containing a dozen grapes for each of the guests.  As we gathered to watch the ball drop, she had her pan & spoon in hand.  She banged off the last twelve seconds of 2010 & I popped a grape in my mouth for each one.  This was harder than I had anticipated!

After the eleventh strike, my husband dropped his last grape.  I watched the fruit playfully bounce away from him.  He quickly dove on the floor & swatted it to the ground, throwing it into his mouth with no time to spare.  Cheeks protruded, I choked back a laugh.  I was secretly relieved; we were both determined to start the year with a little extra luck.

With so little time between gongs, there was no chance to chew.  As the clock struck twelve, I attempted to finish the mouthful of grapes.  Juice dribbled down my chin as I looked around & giggled at my silly friends and their grape-packed cheeks.  I chewed & chewed & chewed, wondering if I would have to spit some of them out.  But I didn't give up & after a few minutes, we had successfully eaten all of our grapes.  I planted a sticky-lipped kiss on my husband, a smooch to seal the good luck.

 it's hard to chew & laugh!

It was a lively start to the new year.  And I've already had a bit of good luck.  I think the grapes are working!  I hope you had a fun start to your year too.