New year 2013We are right in the middle of the festive season and ready to welcome in the new year of 2013. The people of Andalusia and especially Malaga love to celebrate and have a great time with family and friends. Most of these celebrations take place on the streets of the city as the mild weather allows it. For even in winter, the skies are normally clear and blue and the evenings just a little chilly. It is a wonderful time to stroll through the evening streets enjoying the thousands of lights and stalls and shops to be found.

A few days ago on 28 December, the Spanish celebrated the day of “Los Santos Inocentes”. This is the time when people make fun of friends and family but in Malaga it is also the day of Verdiales, when dancing and singing are prevalent. For this is the fiesta that is closely linked to folklore and traditions and celebrated with a colourful display of folk music. Verdial in fact, is an olive that always remains green, even when pickled. The rural communities that harvest them are known as Verdiales. The rituals date back to pre-Roman times and many ceramic sculptures from the period depict street musicians performing with instruments very similar to cymbals and tambourines that give today the colourful display and musical offering.

As time is now moving quickly towards the end of the year, all the restaurants, clubs and hotels along the Costa del Sol are offering special packages. With wonderful meals and surprises to make New Years Eve a party to remember. The local people usually eat late and enjoy dinner with the family. This will be just one more rich elaborate feast complete with all the pastries, dried fruits and nuts and traditional desserts that finish off every meal at this time of year. This will be celebrated with a quantity of Cava before all go out to join other folk and to enjoy the coming of the New Year. Particularly in the larger squares including the Plaza de Constitucion where there will be music and concerts.

At the stroke of midnight, 12 grapes are eaten, one for each stroke of the clock, to bring good luck for the coming year. These are enjoyed with more Cava and the celebrations flow into the night. Have your grapes ready but be sure that the seeds are taken out to avoid choking. Look out for the special canned varieties that are on sale already deseeded.

Many Spaniards are found to be dressed in black for the night coupled with colourful wigs and other accessories. The tradition of wearing red underwear still applies as this promises good luck in love for the coming year.

So, if you are near Malaga for New Year, be sure to go to the city centre and enjoy a real celebration and a warm welcome that is the Spanish New Year.

 

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