Ringing in the New Year

Every New Year’s Eve in Spain, millions of people are glued onto their TVs, watching the celebrations unfold. Meanwhile, thousands kick off the New Year in person, reveling in the energy and action firsthand.


Puerta del Sol, with a Christmas tree in the background, is a calm public square. On New Year’s Eve, thousands flock here to experience the energy of the moment. (Photo via Unsplash)

Kal Pandit, Bear Hub Staff

This is all part of the traditional New Year’s celebration in Puerta del Sol, a public square in Madrid. In 2019, Spanish teacher Sra. Useche took part in this event herself, after visiting her brother earlier in her trip.

Puerta del Sol’s celebration is similar to that of New York City; in fact, there’s a clock in the public square that looks similar to the Times Square ball. However, this celebration is more than just a ball drop.

As soon as the clock hits midnight, “you have to eat twelve grapes; you hear the bell, eat a grape and make a wish,” Sra. Useche tells Bear Hub. “There’s a lot of music and everyone’s celebrating, and you have to make twelve wishes at that time.”

This can all be stressful, however, because people have to make twelve wishes–and eat one grape–each second the clock chimes. As for those wishes, Sra. Useche adds: “Honestly I forget what I asked for, but it was definitely not to be in quarantine for so long.”

Thankfully, though, 2020 is coming to a close. Gone are the days of baking sourdough, obsessing over Tiger King, and anxiously searching for the last packs of toilet paper. We’re now moving onto a new year–one of joy, optimism, and celebration. While the way in which we’re celebrating may seem different, our hopes and promises have a new resolve to them.

Happy New Year, EBHS!