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by Jack Wright
In 1909 winegrowers in Murcia and Alicante, on the eastern coast of Spain, had an unusually large harvest of white grapes. Quick, they must find a way to dispose of the ruinous surplus!
Aha, why not tell the (gullible) people that eating grapes as the clock ticktocked away the last twelve seconds of the old year would bring prosperity in the New? They reckoned that humans, being avaricious by nature, would fall for it. And fall they did, hook, line and sinker.
It’s been 114 years since the fabricated false promise and the Spaniards are still sucking it.
Ooops, not really. Actually, the scales have fallen off their eyes. For some time now the Spanish people knew it was all a commercial gimmick on the part of the enterprising winegrowers. But they keep on popping grapes into their mouths to welcome the New Year just the same.
They now know that their not-so-distant ancestors have been eating las uvas de suerte (the lucky grapes) long before the bumper crop harvest. That is, since at least the late 19th century. One theory on how this popular practice of eating grapes for a lucky New Year came about is that, because the rich would drink champagne and eat grapes on New Year’s Eve, the folk in the village thought they too must have the pleasure.
Maybe they didn’t readily have bubblies to pair the grapes with. The grapes would have to stand alone on their own then; as luck would have it, there usually were enough grapes to go around.
Trust the unfailing envidia in the Spanish make-up to stiffen the resolve of those who had thought what the rich could do, they too could. And create a new practice in the process.
Featured image/Paolo Chieselli, Pixabay
Bunch of grapes/Cler-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay
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