Lottery ticket, red underwear and 12 grapes, the Spanish December traditions.
In Spain a great deal of emphasis is placed on customs and ancient rituals.
A Christmas tradition, that most of the Spaniards follow since 1812, is the Christmas lottery (Sorteo de Navidad). From mid-July onwards, you can buy your lottery ticket in special lottery outlets. A complete ticket consists of 10 individual tickets (décimos), which all bear the same 5 numbers. Of each complete ticket, there are up to 195 editions. The special thing about the Christmas draw: the probability of winning and the winning amount is higher than in other drawings!
On the morning of the 22nd December, the whole of Spain sits in front of the TV and waits for the draw. The winner number and the respective profit are not only spoken out, but sung by two pupils of Madrid’s Colegio San Ildefonso… The entire procedure can thus take up to three and a half hours. The highlight of each year is the drawing of the first prize: El Gordo (“The Fat”), which can bring up to 4,000,000 euro per winning ticket. Tragic: In 2011, all inhabitants of the village Sodeto in Aragon purchased a ticket with the same number and each of them won 50,000 euro. All but ONE inhabitant who unfortunately missed out.
Two more interesting Spanish December traditions, that guarantee a successful and happy new year, are red underwear and 12 grapes.
Red clothing is, especially among the female population in Andalusia, not uncommon, as evidenced by the many colorful flamenco dresses at every Feria . But in Andalusia, there is another occasion when every woman who thinks highly of herself should wear red: red underwear on New Year’s Eve.
Important in this centuries-old tradition is, that the red underwear should never be bought by oneself! No matter who wants to have a guaranty for happiness, success, love and passion in the next year, needs to receive the underwear as a gift. Regardless of the gender. So mothers buy for their children, men for their women and boys for their girlfriends and vice versa. It is given away to the remotest kinship circles with the result that men as well as women receive the same pair of underwear twice. And now you have to be careful and think: Who gave me that underwear and whom will I meet on New Years Eve? Because at such a meeting in Spain you always hear the question : “What do you wear underneath? ”
A second custom ensures that the luck knows what everyone expects of it: At midnight on the 31st December, all Spaniards watch TV, where the most important clock of Spain is shown, the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. In the seconds before midnight, the bell is rung 12 times and with every stroke of the bell, you eat one grape. Eating each grape, you need to think of a desire that you want to be fulfilled the next year. When the bell was rung for the last time, all the grapes should be swallowed, because then it starts: Everyone kisses everyone who is near and that can´t be done with the mouth full of grapes!
To all who read this report: We wish you Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that your wishes come true with the help of the red underwear and the grapes!
Feliz Navidad y Feliz año nuevo
For further articles about Andalusia, you can also have a look here: http://www.blog.spanien-andalusien.com
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