12 Grapes and New Years Traditions

Every year I celebrate New Year’s Eve in a way that reflects what I want the coming year to be about. I’ve started them alone at home, in front of the fire quietly contemplating what I want in the year ahead and I’ve spent them abroad, as an indication of my wish to travel more. I’ve celebrated many a new year with family and some with friends always grateful and mindful that people are not in our lives forever. I celebrate thoughtfully, consciously starting the year in the best possible way with a superstitious belief that it will protect and guide me through the uncertainty of what is to come. It’s worked for me so far.

This year I’ll be in London with my family, which is the best of both worlds and an accurate reflection of what the coming year will be about. I’ll be hitting the road a lot in 2016, all with or for family events so I can’t imagine a better way to kick off the year. Come midnight tonight, we’ll be having Tapas and doing some dancing in a Spanish restaurant on the Thames, which is a lovely way to say goodbye to 2015. We’ll also be having our 12 grapes.


Having 12 grapes at midnight is a Cuban tradition that has been part of every single New Year celebration of my life. The belief is that the grapes represent the months in the coming year and both should be sweet and satisfying. It’s our New Year good luck charm and the night wouldn’t be complete without them.

How do you celebrate New Year? Do you spend it partying with friends or quietly at home? Do you travel or stay put? And has anyone out there ever spent it in Times Square watching the ball drop? I’ve never done it, but have always wondered what it’s like. However you choose to celebrate, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

As we close out 2015, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe, healthy, happy and wonderful New Year. May it be everything you wish it to be.

Sending you all lots of love and peace!


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12 comments on “12 Grapes and New Years Traditions

  1. AvatarM.Siddique

    HI Barbara Mendez
    Wish You and Your Family a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2016.
    Best Regards,


  2. AvatarMelody

    Hi, Barbara. I’ve only recently found your blog/videos and am learning so much from you–thank you!

    As for a New Year tradition–I always go out on our porch and greet the first new morning just at midnight, Even if there are folks around me, I always slip away for just a moment and give thanks for the previous year and acknowledge and bless the new year. I think that this year, I shall incorporate the 12-grape concept, too!

    Happy New Year!

  3. AvatarOri

    We do the grapes Cuban tradition as well, every year! I live in NYC now so this year to be reminded of my family, I’m making a traditional Cuban meal to go with the grapes. Have a wonderful time and keep your healthy post coming in 2016!

  4. AvatarRose Littlejohn

    Hi Barbara, It was a pleasant surprise to read your post today. I remember the Cuban tradition from prior years and what a really nice way to not only be reminded of your culture and traditions but a great way to start a new year. For Bob and I, we have plans with friends for dinner and a night out. I always look forward to it because we all get dressed up and so much fun to laugh and dance. Since my kids have not been with me at midnight the past few years, we do talk/text when the ball drops. As for New Years Day, my mom will be joining us for the weekend, which is always a special treat. I look forward to connecting with you soon as the ‘theme for 2016 is: ‘Making this the Year to Remember”. Last year was ‘The thrill of it all”. 2015 was a special year because I turned 50, had a 4 week sabbatical (spending time in Europe with Bob), Danielle moved to LA (not so special for me but thrilling for her, and Matt experienced a major milestone in his sobriety..yippee. I want 2016 to be remembered for setting intentions that include a number of challenges that I have not taken on before. We can talk more when I see you. Happy New Year! xxoxx

    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      So nice to know that you had such a lovely year! I look forward to hearing more about your Year to Remember and seeing how the memories unfold.
      Wishing all of you a wonderful New Years Eve and that 2016 brings you everything you wish for yourself and more~


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