Saturday, January 2, 2016

No Grapes In My Red Underwear

We can't believe we just celebrated our fifth New Year's Eve in Spain. Time flies (like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana, as Groucho Marx said; I'll probably have to explain that to San Geraldo).

We had a wonderful dinner with Tynan, Elena, their kids, and Elena's mother who is here from Bilbao for the holidays. Unfortunately, and not for the first time in our more than 34 years together, San Geraldo and I did not make it to midnight. San Geraldo ran out of steam around 11:35 and we walked home and were in bed before fulfilling our Spanish New Year's traditions.

The first tradition is the consumption of 12 grapes, one at each clock-chime at midnight to signify one good-luck grape for each month of the coming year. Our first year in Spain, San Geraldo bought grapes with seeds.

Yes, Mom, my stomach vineyard is thriving, alongside the watermelon patch, and the apple tree. And it's all being held together by the bubble gum.

A tradition we just learned about this year is the wearing of red underwear. We did so, but I've since learned that the red underwear is supposed to be purchased for you by someone else. We bought our own. Our friend Jessica told us she'd buy us the underwear next time. I hope she doesn't buy me a thong.

Anyway, the red underwear is supposed to ensure you fall in love. I already have.

Some people say you have to give away the underwear before the end of the night for this to work. I know many of you would enjoy that part of the tradition. (You know who you are.)

A BLAST FROM THE PAST: REMEMBER MATEUS FROM THE '60s & '70s?
ELENA AND HER MOTHER (& OTHERS) TRADITIONALLY DRINK IT THIS TIME OF YEAR.*

Another tradition is to place a gold ring in the bottom of your glass of New Year's eve "cava" (Spanish sparkling wine similar to Champagne). You're supposed to drink the entire glass and then retrieve the gold ring. Not for me. I'd forget and would swallow the ring.

There are a number of other traditions that some people know about and some people don't. Next year, I plan to stay awake long enough to eat my grapes and give away my new red underwear.

If you're interested you can click here to read about our New Year's Eve 2013.


*In New York, we used to pronounce it muh-TUCE. Of course, it's really mah-TAY-uce. 

29 comments:

  1. Mitchell interestring traditions. We also went to bed before midnight

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    1. Gosia:
      It seems just about everyone commented on going to bed before midnight. There must have been very few people awake and celebrating.

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  2. We were in bed by 10:45 PM local time. We also pronounced it muh-tuce where I grew up in Georgia. As university students, it was the height of sophistication to have a wax-dripped bottle as a candle holder (right next to the chianti candle holder). I managed to stay up past midnight in those days ...

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    1. Wilma:
      I wonder if any Americans pronounced Mateus correctly. And, yes, how could I forgot those Mateus bottle candle holders! I had one for years! I have actually stayed up past midnight more often in recent years than I did when I was in my 20s.

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  3. Haaaaa haaaaaaaa :)
    Happy New Year!
    I learned about the grapes tradition from you, and now it's all about the red undies.

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    1. Judy:
      Can't wait for next year's undies and whatever new traditions I learn.

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  4. WOO HOO for the red undies!

    muh-tuce in philly also; I so remember my first real boyfriend and I drinking this wine in the early 70s.

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    1. anne marie:
      But those red undies seem to make my butt look big!

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  5. Mateus was quite ghastly stuff, but we knew no better. I can't remember the label but I certainly remember the bottle.

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    1. Andrew:
      When I saw the bottle in Elena's hand on Christmas Eve, I immediately recognised the shape.

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  6. OH Mateus! How I remember ye! And those 'after-headaches!! It is still around?
    Great traditions in Spain, Mitchell and nice underwear!! tsk tsk!! lol
    I can't remember the last time we made it to midnight on NY's Eve. This year we were in bed by 10:30!!!

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    1. Jim:
      I never drank A LOT of Mateus so don't remember a Mateus-specific hangover. (Hope you gave away your red underwear before you got into bed.)

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  7. What the heck? Never heard of Mateus... we didn't make it to midnight... but even though we'll be 75 years old this year... that red underwear doesn't hold a candle to our love and commitment... okay TMI... but hey, we're among friends, aren't we? Happy New Year to you both... or maybe all 4 if I include Dudo and Moose. (Of course I do)

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    1. Sharon:
      I can't believe you never heard of Mateus! Especially with all the drinking you did/do... :)

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  8. Happy New Year from someone with no traditions except going to bed well before midnight.

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    1. Frank:
      You (and we) are seemingly in the majority. It's amazing how many people don't stay up until midnight.

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  9. Too many grapes; I like saying "Rabbit" rather.

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    1. Spo:
      You should try a Scotch, Sherry, and Concord cocktail... Or maybe you shouldn't.

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    2. I am on an austere diet this January; all libations were last month and next month.

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    3. Spo:
      So glad to know it's only for January!

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  10. That's not the muh-TUCE of a different color. Remember Lancers (also from Portugal)? I used to like a little Blue Nun... I see Mateus here in the supermarkets, but not the others.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I had forgotten about Lancers. I think I only tasted it once and didn't like it much, but I can't remember what it tasted like. I've never had a Blue Nun or any other kind of nun.

      Delete
  11. All those traditions to get through - and I shouldn't wonder if there were still a lot more. I'm sure that if you followed them all you'd suddenly find that Jan 31st had arrived.

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    1. Ray:
      I'll just stick with the grapes and the red underwear.

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  12. I was awake at midnight, I had napped in the chair from 9 until 11. Happy New Years! If you buy the red underwear yourself, maybe you find love in yourself this year?

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  13. Haahah love the red underpants! I'd never heard of these traditions. Must keep them in mind for next year. I hope 2016 is a wonderful year for you and Geraldo and of course the cats! And the Duchess, too!

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    Replies
    1. This was our fifth Christmas here and every year we learn several new traditions.

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