How Spanish celebrate happy new year

Happy New Year in Spanish

(Last Updated On: December 8, 2020)

Happy New Year In Spanish

Spain; The Land Of Traditions And Greetings!

Have you ever been to a Spanish speaking country, maybe Latin America? Did you know that on every new year’s eve, Hispanic people eat grapes for good luck? Ever saw a Christmas celebration there? Did you ever get a chance to wish someone Happy New Year in Spain or had a seat at their table? Did you know that people especially learn the Spanish language just to wish people Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and other festivals and enjoy a glass of champagne with them? If not, don’t worry. We are going to tell you all about the wishes, family traditions, clothes, greetings, fireworks and so much more.

One of the most interesting examples of any country’s history is the way the people celebrate different occasions like Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, and several others and the language they use to express their wishes and greetings. These festivals and fiestas distinguish one community from the other. They are not just traditions, they are what makes people proud of their identities. Spain has a rich and vibrant culture full of festivals and ceremonies. Even the Spanish language is popular for its tone, features, and dialects. Spaniards and Latin Americans love to take photos, enjoy spending money on holidays, love to party around the clock, wear specific clothes, and arrange family dinners with authentic cuisines, toasts, and cheers.


The Spanish Festival of Feliz Navidad Or Merry Christmas

Christmas greetings, the official start of Happy Holidays or holiday season, like any other place in Europe, is so popular in the Spanish speaking world that there are even examples of special songs with wishes of Merry Christmas or as they say in the Spanish language, Feliz Navidad. The term became world-famous when Peurto Rican singer and songwriter Jose Feliciano launched his Merry Christmas song Feliz Navidad in the year 1970. The letters of this special greeting are carved into wooden blocks and can be seen mounted on walls and shops during the holiday season. Greeting cards are also exchanged between family members. It gives them true happiness.


Origin Of Navidad

The word Navidad didn’t just become a greeting for Christmas, it has a deep origin rooted in multiple words from different ancient languages and it gradually reached its current version of Feliz Navidad or Merry Christmas. The name is derived from Old French Neol, from Latin Natalis (dies) which means the day of birth, also derived from nativitas meaning birth generation. History tells us that the term was later used for births on 25th December, the birth of Christ.

La Navidad was a settlement by Christopher Columbus and his men which was established in Haiti in the year 1492. The settlement was established from the remains of a ship.

Spanish Happy new year

Happy new year in Spanish and how is the New Year celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries?

Besides Christmas, the New Year party is another significant highlight of Latin American cultures. Want to know how you can say Happy New Year to Spanish speakers?

To greet a person in a phrase of the Spanish language on New year’s eve, or the start of the new year, you can say Happy New Year In Spanish by saying the phrase Feliz Año Nuevo and double their happiness by sitting at their table!

The celebrations of Christmas and Happy New Year are not limited to one single phrase. In fact, there are many traditions involved. Even in Latin America, new year’s eve is called Noche Vieja or Old Night. And on that night they not only forget the past year but also prepare for the next year’s good luck by reliving their very famous tradition of eating 12 grapes, each for one month’s luck. If you are a Spaniard, you wouldn’t risk your good fortune by skipping the grape eating ritual. Want to know more about that?

Twelve Grapes or Grapes Of Luck

Las doce uvas de la suerte or the twelve grapes of luck is an old and popular custom in the Hispanic cultures. It is believed that eating 12 green grapes on the night of 31st December can bring good fortune, prosperity, money, and better things for the rest of the new year. It is even more interesting, that initially these holiday traditions such as eating 12 grapes was to keep the evil and witches away, it was more of magic but today, people celebrate it as a cultural tradition manifested to welcome the new year. Stuffing your mouth with these grapes before the chimes end to turn the ritual into a hilarious sight.

The custom starts when the clock hits midnight and with each chime of the clock, they keep on eating one grape, it’s actually a race to consume all 12 grapes before the chimes stop and Spaniards are pretty good at putting 3 or 4 in their mouth at one time. Fiestas are a favorite part of Spanish-speaking countries, even in all of the Latin American countries. Harvesters especially grow a large number of vines so that an abundant supply of grape is available for everyone. Moreover, people gather for this custom at two places mainly. They either eat them after the Noche Vieja dinner at their homes or gather around the squares of the country. The tradition is mainly associated with the time ball and clock of the Royal House Of The Post Office in Puerta Del Sol. People still gather around the post office in Puerta Del Sol to celebrate the famous Spanish tradition.



A new year celebration is incomplete without lights and fireworks. Colorful lights lighting up the sky really make the night magical. In fact, the pre-show of Happy New Year is a famous attraction for tourists. You must have seen videos of those mesmerizing fireworks. The show starts with an opening ceremony, cultural dances, performances and eventually move to the most exciting part, the fireworks of course.

The fireworks present such a spectacular sight for the audience that they book certain special positions from where they can view the fireworks clearly and make a video to show their friends later. A unique thing about fireworks on Happy New Year dates back to the old times. In the past, fireworks were shot to woo the evil spirits away. Fireworks were meant to destroy the evil, keeping the people safe from all bad things. So if you have heard one of your friends talking about celebrating new year’s even in Spain, the celebration they are talking about is the one in which everyone says Happy New Year and that includes a party, dance and of course, fireworks.

happy new year in spanish translation


People in Spain are crazy foodies, remember those 12 grapes, the grapes of luck? But on Happy New Year, they not only eat the food they love but they set the table with the foods that bring them luck and money. Yes, you have read that right. Even at lunch and dinner, with every toast, they have beliefs. They sure fancy a smooth glass of champagne but can’t forget the foods on the plate that can change their destiny.


For example, on the first day of the New Year, they eat lentils soup at lunch. The tiny lentils in the bowl on their plate represent coins and so sipping from that coin soup can bring money and prosperity to them in the new year.

Their Happy New Year is not so happy if they can’t enjoy a glass of Cava, a special kind of wine. This sparkling white wine is a special favorite, particularly on the most cherished occasion of Happy New Year. They have special foods for Christmas too.


Why Learn Spanish Christmas Greetings?

Well, first of all, learning a new language is cool, and fun, also enhancing your vocabulary while traveling to Spanish speaking countries makes you sound confident there, so smile. But also, because if you ever get a chance to celebrate Christmas or New Year in one of the world’s most exotic places, such as Spain or Latin American countries, you shouldn’t be out of words when it gets to the point of exchanging wishes and wishing someone a Merry Christmas. We don’t want you to struggle there so make sure that Feliz Navidad and Feliz Año Nuevo are not the only things you know from the Spanish language and about the Spanish to American Translations.

And if you like to take photos of yourself and your friends in Spain on Christmas and if you are ready to spend some money on a vacation and enjoy fireworks, then we say hurry up, get a glass of champagne, pack your best clothes and shoes, start learning new Spanish vocabulary and start sharing your greetings today!


Happy Holidays! Cheers!

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