Feliç Any Nou ~ Feliz Año Nuevo ~ Happy New Year
Just before the countdown began to midnight, I had a plate of 12 grapes placed in front of me and thankfully spotted the native Barcelonan digging the seed out of each (no seedless grapes to be found anywhere around here). I followed suit and was glad I did once I began popping a grape in my mouth, one after another for twelve seconds straight for good luck in the New Year. Each grapes represents one month of the New Year or the stroke of midnight, whichever you prefer. It wasn’t easy keeping up with the countdown, especially as I looked around and saw the determination on each person’s face.
In the final days of December, lingerie shops prominently displayed red underwear as wearing it on New Year’s Eve is said to bring good luck in the New Year.
The host of my New Year’s Eve dinner party is from Milan (thanks again Andrea!), so we had a couple of Italian traditions mixed in. Before the grapes, I helped myself to a scoopful of lentils, eating them to bring wealth in the New Year. Thinking back, I probably should have dumped the whole bowl in my mouth and then licked it clean. For dessert, we enjoyed some Panetton – a sweet bread that hails from Milan.
And finally, what would a festivity in Barcelona be without the mention of poo. I’ve been staying at a friend’s place in Barceloneta, by the sea, and there’s a sign in Catalán that’s lit at night on a balcony overlooking the plaza of Mercat Barceloneta that says “2012 Molta Merda!” – literally translates to, “2012 Much Sh*t!” However, I’ve been told by a French-speaking friend (thanks Jerry!) that to wish someone good luck in French people say, “Merde!” And a dancer-friend (thanks Rachel!) said that before performances dancers say “merde” for good luck. So, here’s wishing you all a 2012 that’s full of sh*t!