New Year’s Eve in Valencia: How to celebrate to the max!
December always stands out as one of the most festive months as we are constantly surrounded by the warmth of family, the joy of friends, feasts, drinks, and a whirlwind of parties and events. Yet, one of the most important days of the year always comes right at the end: New Years Eve.
New Year’s Eve is important in many ways. Firstly, it serves as a time of reflection, where we can all look back on our accomplishments, achievements, challenges and experiences. We can also use this day as a time to make new goals for the upcoming year, as there is always a sense of optimism and excitement for what the New Year will bring! Have you thought about your New Year’s resolutions yet? You should start now, there’s not a lot of time left!
This blog will tell you all about «NocheVieja» (New Year’s Eve) in Valencia, including Valencia’s unique customs and festivities for this day and how you can enjoy them like a true Valencian!
The Grape Countdown:
Have you ever grown too many grapes and wanted to get rid of them? Well that’s what happened in Alicante in 1909. This random tradition goes back to the early 20th century in Spain where some grape growers found themselves with an excess harvest. To promote their grapes, they came up with the clever idea of encouraging people to eat twelve grapes—one for each stroke of the clock at midnight—as a way to celebrate the New Year.
This tradition soon gained popularity and it is widely practiced throughout Spain on the night of New Year’s Eve. There are two types of places where people gather to eat the grapes: at home with family members or in the main squares around the country.
If you want to be part of tradition this year then all you have to do is buy some grapes and head down to the Plaza de Ayuntamiento, the central square, in Valencia on the night of NYE. It is definitely a unique experience!
Fireworks and street parties:
No New Year’s Eve would be complete without fireworks to mark the start of a New Year and no one does fireworks better than the Valencian community. Each year in the central square a firework display lights up the night sky and although these fireworks aren’t as extensive as the ones in «Las Fallas», they serve as a beautiful prelude to the midnight festivities.
The most exciting events actually come after all of the noise of the fireworks and they the New Year’s Eve street parties! Every year the streets come alive with vibrant celebrations, especially in neighborhoods like El Carmen and Ruzafa. To add to this, restaurants, bars, and clubs overflow with both tourists and residents who can enjoy live music, dancing, and a festive atmosphere that lasts well into the early hours.
Some recommendations are:
Valencia’s Town Hall square: On the night of December 31st the town hall transforms into a massive dancefloor with performances by Valencian DJs from 10:30pm to 1:30am.
Atenea Sky: This year Atena Sky, the magnificent rooftop building, has organized a masquerade ball to bid farewell to 2023 and enjoy the chimes and pyromusical shows of the City Hall, all whilst indulging in its magical rooftop views. Don’t hesitate!
Picca Club: A two floor club which has a silent disco for you to dance the night away to mega classic hits. Tickets sell fast so don’t wait to long to buy them!
The red underwear tradition:
Although this might seem like a strange tradition, it is something that a lot of Spaniards to do celebrate the start of a New Year. As a symbol of good luck and love for the coming year, wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is a popular tradition in Valencia and you will often see shops promoting their underwear ranges in all of the shop windows on Calle Colon!
A Midnight Toast:
Although not a tradition specific to just Spain, Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine, is the beverage of choice for toasting to the New Year. Families and friends gather to share this celebratory drink and exchange well wishes for the year ahead. You will witness many people raising a glass to mark the end of 2023 so be ready with your glass too!
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