New Year’s Eve in August

Fake snow on ‘New Year’s Eve’ in Berchules Credit: Nochevieja en agosto Berchules "Abnea" La Alpujarra

The small town of Berchules in Granada rolls Christmas, New Year and the Three Kings into one celebration that takes place on the first Sunday of August.

Eating the 12 grapes by candle light

It’s 30 years since the small town with a population of around 1,000 experienced a total blackout when all electricity was cut of on the evening of December 31, 1994 and the residents had to listen to a transistor radio to hear the bells chime and eat their traditional 12 grapes by candlelight.

Needless to say, they weren’t happy with the local electricity company and all of the bars and restaurants that expected rich pickings from the night lost all of the income that they were looking forward to.

Meeting to discuss the situation and to sympathise with each other, a local businessman jokingly suggested that if they held it in August, the chances of a blackout would be reduced considerably.

The Three Kings and a band of Santas
Credit: Nochevieja en agosto Berchules “Abnea” La Alpujarra

History says that a local journalist said that they wouldn’t be capable of doing this and like the proverbial red rag to a bull, New Year’s Eve was moved to August and with it went the local Nativity competition, The Three King’s Parade and everything that makes New Year’s Eve so much fun.

Berchules Nativity competition
Credit: Berchules Council

Festival of Tourist Interest

In 2020 it was declared a Festival of Tourist Interest by the Government of Andalucia and the bars and restaurants are happy as each year the event attracts upwards of 10,000 visitors, some of whom make a special stop at the Fountain of Las Carmelas which promises that all those who are single who drink from its water will soon find love.

Fuente de las Carmelas en Bérchules

Yet another excuse to visit one of the many quirky Spanish towns that abound throughout the country.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page