Tonight I’m going to eat grapes to the twelve strokes of midnight, as it’s said that if you eat a grape on each stroke of midnight, the taste will determine what the corresponding month will turn out like. Meaning the first stroke represents January, the second February etc, and if the grape is sweet, woo hoo! But if it’s tart, best stuff a larch cone down your bra for the duration.
I’ve performed las doce uvas de la suerte, or the twelve lucky grapes (this is a Spanish tradition), a couple of times. But as lockdown has limited what’s possible this year, I thought I would do it again. Besides, I’m not known for turning down a midnight snack. So here are my top ten tips for dispatching this folklore, without gagging.
- Preparation is key. When you’re in the throes of gobbling your grapes you don’t want to be thinking anything other than sweet or sour
- Pre-pick your grapes, and make them small. No matter how fast you normally eat, I can guarantee the chimes will not give you enough time to chomp down on those delicious yet enormous candy floss grapes
- The type of grape matters, seedless is a given, and obviously you’re rigging the luck if you use champagne grapes, even though it’s New Year’s Eve
- Before midnight, find your baseline sweet by popping a couple of grapes before you start. This way you’ll avoid the disappointment of realising your sweet was just normal half way through
- More prep, create a grid (I’m such a nerd, I make no apologies) with the months down the side and sweet and sour across the top, this way as you taste you can tick the column that corresponds with the bong
- Make sure your pen is working
- Don’t brush your teeth pre-wolfing, minty grapes are never advisable
- When the time nears, hold the pen in your dominant hand. Then with your other hand, position the first grape next to your lips in anticipation. With each chime, chow down on a grape, getting the next one into position as soon as the previous one has breached your teeth
- The most important thing is to finish the grapes by the time the chimes have died away to ensure general luck for the coming year
- If you’re performing this folklore alone and don’t know how to self-administer the Heimlich manoeuvre, make sure you are sitting up straight and have a glass of water beside you
Here’s last year’s prep:
Notice the extra classification ‘sweeter’, this was because of my lack of baseline (tip 4), thus sweet became normal. Tip 5’s grid is an evolution of the above.
And here are the results:
And indeed March and April were particularly horrendous, although I can’t say whether I was especially lucky in the sweeter months.
And here’s my plate for tonight’s divination:
I also bought some lottery tickets as there’s a draw tonight and the dominoes said that I should/n’t. I might do it again tomorrow, too. Depends on what the grapes chip in later.
Happy New Year!