3009 - Eating Twelve Grapes to the chimes of the clock at midnight on New Years Eve has been a Spanish tradition since 1909. In December that year, some vine growers from the Alicante area came up with "The 12 Grapes" as an idea to sell huge amounts of grapes from an excellent harvest. Since that time Spanish people have kept up the tradition as a way to celebrate New Year's Eve. On the last day of the year, the 31st of December, they wait until twelve p.m. Everybody has to have twelve grapes ready to eat when the clock starts to chime. It is traditional to listen to the clock from Puerta del Sol in Madrid and in other town squares around the country. The tradition consists of eating a grape with each bell strike and Heleen, who was in Spain at the New Year, sent me this mail art made from two packets of seedless, peeled grapes sold especially for the occasion.