Norman Warwick shares a piece of Lanzarote Information

The article by Julie Cliff Jones in her archives at Lanzarote Information began quite surprisingly.

¨In Spanish´, Julie had written, ´we say “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!” It’s very important you pronounce the “Nya” sound when you say año, so it comes out as anyo. Otherwise you might be wishing someone a happy new anus!

Thanks for sharing that Julie. I promise to use each phrase only where appropriate !

racimo de uvas verdes con hoja

´Another tradition´, she continued ´is one that Lanzarote people call Uvas. Before midnight select twelve grapes per person off the bunch and place in a plastic cup. If you haven’t bought seedless grapes, cut and extract the seeds. The challenge is to eat one grape per bong of midnight! This tradition dates back to 1909 in Alicante where following an unusually large harvest of grapes everyone was given them to eat. The grapes signify good luck for the coming year´.

Those Lanzarotan born and bred alsobuy bags of Cotillón from the Fieston or Chinese shops in Lanzarote. These bags contain a garland, blower, mask and hat amongst other bits and pieces depending on the quality that you buy. Most dining establishments offer a bag of Cotillón if you are eating or drinking in them at midnight.

´There are two official organised firework displays´, Julie reminded us, ´at Midnight in the old capital of Teguise and at 1am at Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen. For a traditional night go to Teguise. You will be given a cava and grapes free of charge to join in the celebration. You will see / hear lots of rockets set off randomly throughout the night as the parties continue, although perhaps the number of rockets you will see and hear depends on how many glasses of cava you have consumed before-hand´.

Actually it still seems uncertain whether firework events will happen for the turn of 21 & 22 as Lanzarote has just moved a further step into lockdown. Although figures show many being diagnosed with a covid virus, hospitalisations are very low. Even if we can´t ´light up the sky with Standard fireworks´ as the old advert used to say, we do have almost daily natural firework displays here on the island, as shown right

Nevertheless we have learned that the Three Kings Parade in Arrecife, another Festive tradition on Lanzarote, remains in doubt. To be fair, enchanting and exciting as the parade always is, it just might not make sense to have thousands of people lining the network of streets and roads the parade follows in search of accommodation.

photo red Without explaining why, Julie tells us coyly that ´Other Spanish traditions include wearing brand new red underwear for the evening, this should have been given to you by a family member / friend for good luck´.

I don´t want to reveal too much here (we are a family site) but I can disclose that I am a Bolton Wanderers fan so my ´lucky´ pants are black and white and worn only on match days and haven´t been ´lucky´ for years!

´The Spanish equivalent to the Big Ben chimes in London (left),´ Julie continues, ´is the clock at the Casa de Correos situated in the Plaza Mayor, Puerto del Sol, Madrid´.

´Notwithstanding the fact that we all spend the last twenty seconds of the old year counting out the time, here on Lanzarote Spanish families have, typically, a late meal together before going out to celebrate in the early hours of the morning until sunrise. Breakfast is hot chocolate with churros before going to bed to recover. On our first new year’s even in Arrecife many years ago we rocked up in town at 11PM and it was like a ghost ship, with nobody around.

Of course we know now that everyone was having a meal with their families, and as soon as midnight struck, they spilled onto the streets and the party started and went on until dawn!

It is just turning into  January 1st 2022 and I would like to thank all (both might be a more precise word) readers who follow my daily not for profit blog here at Sidetracks & Detours and my weekly column on Lanzarote Information. I also would like to thank those who have sent articles for inclusion and I hope I haven´t damaged any reputations too much in any of my light editing. Sidetracks And Detours strive to provide our contributors with a strong and reliable platform and our readers with eclectic news, interviews, previews and reviews and we have very much valued your support in this past year.

I´d like to especially thank Julie for not knowing that I have borrowed this, and as the clock strikes, tw,……

What do you mean that was yesterday.? What time is it?

OMG !! How many cavas did I have?

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