celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays that can be traced
back over four thousand years ago and here on the island the revelry is completely
different from the Christmas festivities.
New Year’s Eve here on Ibiza is spent partying throughout the night and even
some folk manage it throughout New Year’s Day.
traditional custom not only in Ibiza but also throughout the whole of Spain
is that on the last day of the year people wait until 12 o’clock midnight and
everybody then has to have twelve grapes ready to eat when the clock starts
is tradition to listen to the clock from Puerta del Sol in Madrid when it is midnight and each time the clock
chimes, people put a grape in their mouth and by the time the clock has finished
chiming, everybody has to have finished eating their grapes and then that’s
the beginning of the New Year.
it’s almost impossible to finish eating the twelve grapes by the time the clock
finishes chiming, simply because, it’s really difficult to have only a second
to swallow each grape and therefore people still have a mouth full of grapes
when the climes have well and truly finished.
custom of eating the twelve grapes originally began in a year when Spain had
a huge grape harvest and the King of Spain decided to give grapes to everybody
in the country to eat on New Year’s Eve.
much prefer my grapes to come out of a bottle and into a glass to drink preferably
in the form of champagne - but known throughout Spain as Cava - or as I refer
to this holy water as “Agua Verde”
must admit that you very rarely hear people here refer to this special night
as New Year’s Eve but instead it’s simply refereed to as Nochevieja
- meaning the last night of the old year.
the past two decades I’ve always celebrated each New Year’s Eve with a small
group of twelve to fourteen of my Ibicencan friends where we get together at
my house to have a good time on the last night of the old year.
roast a six-month-old lamb that weighs about twelve to fourteen kilos outside
under the stars on a wood and charcoal fire as the Moors traditionally did thousands
of years ago. The lamb is prepared first with injections of a good supply of
brandy and then it is spread open on an iron frame across the fire. It is turned
and biased with a mixture made in a bowl of more brandy, lemons, salt, pepper
and wild rosemary.
lamb takes, depending on its weight; about four hours to gently roast and believe
me this is definitely the best way of cooking to enjoy eating a young lamb.
Jacket potatoes are also roasted at the same time with the lamb.
starter to the evening meal is nearly always excellent fish soup and everybody
attending has his or her job to do throughout the preparation of the meal with
obviously the help of a continuous flow of top quality bottles of vinos
fact we’re normally all far too busy eating, drinking, talking and generally
enjoying ourselves that nobody ever seems to take notices of the time on the
clock to ever remember the grapes until it’s time for desert at gone 2 o’clock
or 3 o’clock in the morning.
My Good Friend Trias Roasting the Lamb
Picture © Gary Hardy (31.12.1997)
of the old year: I noticed an article with a colour picture in yesterday’s Daily
Telegraph, which reported on Cherie Blair’s casual fashion of next summer’s
Ibiza circa ’71 style. But what about her dragon flares she was spotted wearing
on Tony and Cherie’s visit to the site of the Sphinx in Cairo on Thursday of
dragon flares fail to inspire
By Julia Robson Deputy Fashion Editor of The Daily Telegraph
BLAIR'S private holiday wardrobe was aired very publicly in Cairo yesterday.
Here, in front of one of the wonders of the world - the Pyramids of Giza - the
Prime Minister's wife appeared to have made another fashion mistake.
her husband opted for signature Jeremy Clarkson-esque jeans and a trendy, two-tone
"Skate" T-shirt, Cherie ditched her favourite designers - Ronit Zilkha,
Louise Kennedy and Roman Keflay - and embraced next summer's Ibiza
circa '71 style with just a little too much gusto. Her mix-and-match ensemble,
although forward thinking in fashion terms, was just a bit home-made.
in an Egyptian-white, smock tunic (could this be a leftover from her maternity
wardrobe?) that billowed out like the Great Pyramid itself, Mrs Blair failed
to gain style points for her trousers.
what was the pattern that appeared to curl and coil around her slender legs?
it Harry Potter-style dragons that hung in blotches from flared ankles right
up to tight thigh?
Chinese embroidered dragons have decorated many a pair of baggy trousers worn
by pop stars and celebrities from Madonna and All Saints to the Beckhams, the
cult brand Maharishi has moved on and dragons have disappeared in the sands
jeans, which also dominated fashion, are now considered "cool" only
by nine- to 13-year-old tweenies.
Picture Courtesy of Reuters