Holidays, Xan & Bob

Happy New Year! Bon Any Nou! 2018!

Well, hello 2018! Welcome! I hope you are as ready as I am to make this an amazing year!

We rang in the new year with our neighbors/friends. There were 10 of us. Kim, Virginia, Montse, Alex, Marc, Yuko, Julie, Francesc, Bob and me. An international mix. Catalan, French, Japanese, English/Australian, and American. What a wonderful place this village is! We had a lovely meal hosted by Kim and Virginia. A feast followed by an array of yummy traditional desserts. Think sugar and you’ve got it!

As midnight approached we took our cava and our tray of 12 grapes on skewers and we walked over to the church here in the village. The church is not open, but the original stone alter sits out in front. Montse brought some lights and it looked quite festive.

What are the 12 grapes for, I hear you ask. Well, the Spanish tradition dates back to 1894 when there was a bumper grape crop. The grape farmers thought of a great way to sell their extra grapes. And thus, a tradition was born.

At the stroke of midnight you start eating the grapes but you must eat them all before the last stroke. So, 12 grapes in 1 minute. Try it. Not so easy! But we did it. This is to bring you luck in the new year. Now, as Bob said, “we prefer to drink our grapes” but we are embracing the cultures of our new home.

To show you how big of a deal the 12 grapes are the news Friday night did at least a 20-minute segment on grapes. What varieties there are, different sizes, calories by variety (seriously why this matters is beyond me as it is only 12 grapes!), the history, etc. It was quite interesting to watch how they could talk about grapes for that long. 🙂

Once we had our grapes and toasted to the new year and took some silly photos of each other we headed back to Kim and Virginia’s for more dessert, cava, and coffee.

Pretty cool what swinging lights look like.


We had an absolutely wonderful evening and I think a new annual gathering has been created. Sharing food, wine, laughter, and stories with friends and in 3-4 different languages is a pretty special way to ring in a new year.


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