Happy New Year! Spanish village set to celebrate this weekend

Image of Salma al-Shehab. Credit: [email protected]

THE countdown is on to big New Year celebrations this Saturday in a Spanish mountain village.

With just 850 residents, for the last 19 years Berchules in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada Province has been celebrating New Year  with a party and fake snow at midnight on the first Saturday in August.

The celebrations became an annual tradition after official New Year celebrations in Berchules and two neighbouring villages near Capileira were grounded in 1994 due to a power cut.

Since then the extra New Year celebrations on the first weekend in August have annually attracted thousands of people from around the world, with them eating lucky grapes, drinking cava and making wishes as the clock in Church Square chimes midnight.

To add to the celebrations Berchules puts up Christmas lights, a ‘Three Kings’ parade is held, there is artificial snow, and local bars join in serving ‘anis’ (aniseed liqueur) and traditional Christmas cakes.

In some parts of the world, including Bahrain in the Middle East and Chang Mai in Thailand, some businesses hold ‘alternative Christmas and New Year celebrations’ on June 25 and July 1 with British expatriates enjoying traditional roast turkey meals along with the full party spirit.

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