New Year Grapes

Informant Information:

Juan Lucero is a student at the University of Southern California studying Mechanical Engineering. He also works at the USC Bookstore in his spare time. He is from a Mexican (Spanish) background, and moved from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA for college.


“We eat grapes on New Years Eve. Each grape represents a wish for the New Year.”

Q: When do you eat these grapes?

“10 minutes before midnight. My mom tried to make us eat them as the clock was counting down but we were like 8 or 9 so we didn’t want to do that.”

Q: What’s a normal wish that you yourself would make?

“Whatever game I was obsessed with at the time, whatever one I wanted.”

Q: Do you know of anyone else who celebrates this tradition? Is it common?

“I know some people, but I don’t know if it’s common”


It surprised me that the informant thought this practice was uncommon, as this tradition is something that I am personally familiar with. I think this might be because we both have Spanish backgrounds, and because further research shows that this tradition is Spanish in origin. The informant’s way of practicing this tradition differed from the original practice, as well as my own. In Spanish tradition, the twelve grapes represent the twelve months of the year. Every grape eaten represents good luck for a single month of the year. In the informant’s case, they symbolized wishes for the New Year.