New Year in Lanzarote is traditionally celebrated with Uvas, Cotillón, Cava and Fuego Artificiales.
In Spanish, we say “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!” It’s very important you pronounce the “Nya” sound when you say año, so it comes out as anyo. Otherwise you might be wishing someone a happy new anus!
Before midnight select 12 grapes per person off the bunch and place in a plastic cup. If you haven’t bought seedless grapes, cut and extract the seeds. The challenge is to eat one grape per bong of midnight! This tradition dates back to 1909 in Alicante where following an unusually large harvest of grapes everyone was given them to eat. The grapes signify good luck for the coming year.
You can buy bags of Cotillón from the Fieston or Chinese shops in Lanzarote. These bags contain a garland, blower, mask, hat amongst other bits and pieces depending on the quality that you buy. Most establishments offer a bag of Cotillón if you are eating or drinking in them at midnight.
There are two organised firework displays, at Midnight in the old capital of Teguise and at 1am at Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen. For a traditional night go to Teguise, they give you the cava and grapes free of charge to join in the celebration. You will see / hear lots of rockets set off randomly throughout the night as the parties continue.
Other Spanish traditions include wearing brand new red underwear for the evening, this should have been given to you by a family member / friend for good luck. The Spanish equivalent to the Big Ben chimes in London is the clock at the Casa de Correos situated in the Plaza Mayor, Puerto del Sol, Madrid.
It starts late!
Typically Spanish families have a late meal together before going out to celebrate in the early hours of the morning until sunrise. Breakfast is hot chocolate with churros before going to bed to recover. On our first new year’s even in Arrecife many years ago we rocked up in town at 11PM and it was like a ghost ship, with nobody around. Of course we know now that everyone was having a meal with their families, and as soon as midnight struck, they spilled onto the streets and the party started and went on until dawn!
More reading: What’s Christmas like in Lanzarote?