A Fun New Year’s Eve Tradition

I was ecstatic to be reminded of an old tradition by Martha Stewart in her magazine this month.  

I remember doing this on New Year’s Eve with some foreign friends many, many years ago and everyone had a lot of fun partaking in the simple ritual.

According to Martha, it’s a Spanish tradition (my friends were French) to quickly eat a dozen grapes at midnight. 

The fruit being a predictor of the year ahead:  Each sweet grape representing a good month, each sour grape a less-than-lucky one.

So join the fun, thread a bunch of grapes onto skewers and serve each in a glass of Champagne right before the countdown. 

This is great because children and non-drinkers can also participate.  Just put the skewer in Sparkling Apple Cider or whatever beverage you are serving for the toast.

I hope you get all sweet-ones!

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  1. Betty 1

    What a cool idea! Happy New Year Cathy & family!!

  2. Even if we don’t want to start another tradition, it just plain looks pretty and fun! Champagne…ahh, I LOVE champagne. Happy New Year to all of you!

  3. What a neat idea. We’ll give this one a go. The kids will love it. Thanks

  4. I’m in — I love grapes, and what a fun way to celebrate the start of the year!

  5. What a wonderful new tradition. The Little Imp would live on grapes alone if I let her and I can fill a pretty crystal flute (oh goodness she’ll be over the moon to be able to “touch” one of mommy’s pretty crystal glasses!)with her favourite fruit and some sparkling cider as we sit out on the bluff and watch the New Year come in!

    This is such a beautiful and simple idea Cathy, thanks for sharing it!

  6. Kayola 7

    I ♥ THIS! I am for sure going to do this…hopefully NO sour grapes here…thanks for the great idea!!! May all your grapes be SWEEEEEET as well!

  7. Becky 8

    What a fun idea. I’ve never heard of this.
    We may just have to try this. This year!!!

  8. Barbie with a T 9

    I saw this in MSL magazine too. I was surprised that I had never heard of that before. Your photos of the grapes in the champagne were exquisite. So tempting! My problem is that I only have two tall champagne glasses like that. 12 grapes would not fit in the others! Maybe just floating some in champagne would be okay in a pinch? If our celebration includes only my husband and myself, we can do it! Happy New Year!

  9. Rachel 10

    That is so fun Cathy!! What a great idea.
    I’m going to snag this and link back to you from Blissfully Delish because I have been looking for a fun New Year’s post!! Thank you!!!!!
    I hope all your Holidays were wonderful!!

  10. Wow, now this is something I have never seen before – what fun it must have been and will be when I try my own version of this for my New Year’s Day Brunch – I will cheat since it will be day 1, but heck, love this idea!
    oh and Happy new year to you and your family!

  11. Laurie 12

    What a lovely idea! We spend New Years at home with the kids playing games. They will love this!

    I hope you get all sweet grapes too and that your New Year is bright.

  12. Mary 13

    How fun is that! We’ve just added another must do to get the new year off to a bright start.

  13. Louise 14

    Thanks for sharing this fun tradition!

  14. Suzette 15

    I have grapes. I have skewers. I even have champagne! What I need more of is good luck! Can’t hurt – and at least I’ll get in a serving of fruit. :)

  15. What a wonderful idea. I’m going to do it!! Love the pictures!

    Joyous New Year to you and yours.

    Many blessings

  16. A lovely and fun tradition. May all your grapes be sweet.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  17. Misty 19

    What a cute idea Cathy! I am sure my daughter would love that!

  18. Diane 20

    Fab idea and we have a huge bunch of little red grapes! Now to find some squewers!

    Have you ever frozen grapes? They’re so nice to nibble on! You could use them as ice cubes too!

    Happy New Year to you! May all your wishes and dreams come true!

  19. That is a great idea! Although, I’d be afraid I’d get all sour grapes. Ha!

  20. Katrina 22

    Isn’t sweet or sour all in the tastebuds of the taster? Either way, gorgeous and sounds fun!

  21. Marlene 23

    I need all the sweet ones I get.

    this was a great tradition to share.


  22. Wishing nothing but sweet grapes for everyone;)

  23. ELRA 25

    Such a great idea, Cathy! It also looks so great on the tall glass like that.

    Wish you and your family the best of year 2009!

  24. Sarah 26

    We do it a little differently in my family … you still have twelve grapes, but you put one in your mouth every second during the countdown, so you start the new year trying to chew a mouthful of grapes :) Apparently, this is how my uncle’s family learned it when they lived in Luxembourg.

  25. tipper 27

    A very neat-and easy-tradition!

  26. dawn 28

    I love this time of year as I am a huge lover of champagne. I have a couple of diff. bottles to try this year. If I could collect anything, diff. champagnes would be it.

  27. imom 29

    Such a great and beautiful idea! We are going to someone else’s house for a party, I’m going to suggest doing this to the host.

  28. Liz C. 30

    I am so going to do this NYE. I can hardly wait! Another new tradition (or is that addiction?) is always fun. I always make my Texas Caviar which is a black eyed pea dip, kind of. I guess we’ll have most of the food groups represented with your drink and my dip, lol.

  29. Linda 31

    At first I thought those were little grape tomatoes, and I thought, weird. Grapes make more sense. LOL Ok, we’re gonna do this … I’ve got high hopes for all sweet grapes!

  30. Amber 32

    I saw this also and thought it was a fun idea, easy and like you said, works for the children also. I can not remember the last time I did anything on New Years eve. I so need some new friends. Aack!

  31. What a fun idea. I should bring some grapes to the party I’m going to tomorrow. I know there will be plenty of champagne considering the hosts.

  32. Mrs. L 34

    I have a Cuban friend who taught us this many years ago. Pretty funny trying to eat all the grapes and talk and kiss…we usually end up laughing hysterically. I like the presentation you do, we’ll have to try it this year.

  33. marcy 35

    Never heard of that tradition, but everyone in this household loves grapes! Have to try that one…
    Happy New Year to you and your family

  34. lo 36

    Love this idea! I guess it pays to shop at a store with a great produce department in this case :)

    Here’s hoping that all your grapes are sweet and succulent!

  35. Melissa 37

    I hope yours are all sweet as well, Cathy. Good to know ya and Happy New Year!

  36. celia 38

    The picture this spectacular.

  37. I love, love, love this presentation! What a cool idea! I think I’ll be making this a tradition in my house as well. Happy New Year!

  38. barbara 40

    I love this idea. Happy New Year.

  39. What a great tradition! I heard of that many years ago but then forgot… thank you for reminding me… I will get some grapes tomorrow.


  40. That looks like a great idea.

  41. They do eat grapes in Spain at 12 on new year’s eve! They even sell little cans with 12 pealed and seedless grapes staring late november. We in Portugal eat 12 raisins, but never heared of that sour, sweet thing, but it’s cute. You too, get 12 sweet ones!

  42. Paula 44

    What a clever idea! I’ve not heard of this before, but it’s such a great thing to do with family and friends! Thanks for sharing! Here’s to hoping for 12 sweet grapes!

  43. gaga 45

    Those looks so pretty, what a great idea!

  44. I heard about that! I didn’t know it was real. Cool!

  45. Sure wish we could share one together!

  46. Kiki 49

    Wow, I had heard about eating grapes at New Years, but hadn’t heard that you are supposed to eat 12 & what they represent. Thanks Cathy, what a neat idea!

  47. Seems like such a nice tradition – but can I eat more than 12? LOL


  48. That’s a neat idea, Cathy !
    I’ll have mine in sparkling apple cider :)

    Happy New Year 2009 to you.

  49. Marjie 52

    I’ve never been able to develop any New Years traditions, maybe because there’s so much else going on in the “grand celebratory season” (Halloween to Superbowl Sunday): all the standard holidays plus 6 birthdays. Maybe I’ll try this with the kids who are home this year (all but 3)!

  50. Bunny 53

    What a great tradition Cathy!

  51. This is great! Thanks for the idea! Happy New Year to you!

  52. I’ve never heard of this, but I think I’ll do it this year. BTW, my friend has been coming to your blog through mine and we had like a 20 minute convero on the phone about that carrot cake. You’re kind of a super star.

  53. I love this idea–and it’s extra-perfect for me this year–you’ll see why in my Wed. post!!

  54. Marissa 57

    oh this is so fun, thanks so much for sharing this

  55. how funny, i am planning to do this tomorrow night as well. red and green alternating perhaps? i just stumbled on this blog while trying to find this tradition’s origin, and i think i am in love. consider yourself linked.

  56. Kate 59

    Great tradition! If I’d have done it last year, I would have known in advance that half of my grapes would have been sour. Here’s hoping for a better year this time!

  57. Tricia 60

    THANKS FOR THE POST!!! I haven’t done this in years, but my friends from Spain used to have us do this

  58. Egghead 61

    We began doing this when my son who was studying Spanish would bring his Spanish friends home years ago. Fun tradition!

  59. Hillary 62

    What an adorable tradition! I’ve never heard of this one – maybe I’ll go get some grape for tonight! :)

  60. Sandie 63

    I’m mad for lobster bisque! Which gets me to thinking… I know this great little place that serves an awesome lobster bisque. I wonder if it’s too late to change plans and get New Year’s Eve reservations?

  61. Sandie 64

    Sorry—I got that comment on the wrong post! How on Earth did that happen? (And no, I haven’t gotten into the champagne…yet…)

    Oh well, the grape idea looks positively fun as well! Happy New Year!

  62. Maureen 65

    Love this idea! Fun tradition and neat twist on the champagne flute. (What a conversation starter to, eh?)
    Thanks for a year of great recipes, ideas, and good reads.
    Happy New Years Cathy!

  63. isabel 66

    Hi there!
    just wanted to say, I’m spanish myself, living in Germany, and I follow this tradition every year. The grapes must be eaten when the official clock (in Madrid) makes a bell sound, 12 times, and you must eat one grape with each sound of the bell. With internet today is easy to follow this clock (spanish radio). If you manage to eat all the grapes in time (the bell rings pretty fast, which is great for a laugh watching everyone struggling to eat them), you’ll be lucky. Never heard of the sweet-sour grapes luck thing, though.
    Anyway, great blog and happy new year to everybody!

  64. Chef E 67

    Great post, and I love learning new things…saw a reference on Doggybloggy that comes back here…

  65. Here’s to another 365 days of craziness, fun, less struggle and more hope for people everywhere.

    Happy New Year!

  66. Flea 69

    They look like cherry tomatoes! But what a fun idea. Are y’all having cabbage, black eyed peas and ham tomorrow?

  67. Very cute idea. Now I”m thinking I should pick up some grapes on my way to tonight’s party.

    Your glasses look so pretty!

  68. Julie 71

    Sounds like fun, but if they were all sour I’d be force to hunt Martha down and kick her butt :D
    Have a great New Years!

  69. I’m bummed that I didn’t see this yesterday…such a fun idea!! LOVE the pics by the way. Very cool!

    Happy New Year to you!

  70. It’s understandable that cash makes people free. But how to act when someone doesn’t have cash? The only one way is to get the personal loans and sba loan.

  71. Karen Dinsmore 74

    Yummy. This is one tradition I could get into.

  72. Oh I’d totally forgotten about this tradition…such a good idea!

  73. lynda 76

    Not sure this is such a great idea, would be depressing if someone got all sour grapes for the new year. Won’t take a chance on this sorry MS

  74. Miyuki 77

    This sounds like a great idea to try next year. I wish I would’ve found this sooner.

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