New Year's Eve is called Noche Vieja in Spain and it's a big night for parties, bar-hopping, clubbing and, of course, fireworks! Many bottles of Spanish cava, Spanish sparkling wine are popped open and drunk accompanied by lots of tapas and sweets like turron.
At the stroke of midnight, the Spanish have a ritual of eating twelve grapes, one for each toll of the bell. Preparation for this ritual starts while the grapes are ripening in the Spanish sun during the summer. That's when small paper bags are placed around each bunch of grapes. When they're ripe, the bunch is harvested - snipped off with the bag for convenience. Be sure to buy your grapes now before the grocery stores run out!
The grapes in the photo were growing on an arbor just outside the Valor chocolate factory museum in Villajoyosa, Alicante.
Photo © Lisa Sierra, licensed to About.com, Inc.