Even the wind knows it’s New Year’s Eve
By Correspondent Aitziber Saldias in Beasain, Spain.
New Year’s Eve starts as any other day, but it’s easy to feel that there’s something different in the air. People rush through the streets talking about family dinners, last minute shopping and the San Silvestre race. I simply adore this race. Each year, many residents —including the major himself!— take part in this traditional competition, some of them even in costume. I think it is a fantastic way of starting the last day of the year because, even if you don’t run, you can always cheer your friends. Being as it is quite a small town, the runners feel as if the whole town is running alongside with them. I’m from a place called Beasain, by the way, a town lost somewhere in the middle of the Basque Country. And I would not change it for any big city in the world.
In the afternoon, friends gather to have some drinks before the big dinner, try to remember how the year started… and there’s always someone who can’t wait until midnight and starts throwing firecrackers. It almost feels as part of the tradition after all these years. Dinner is always amazing: you get to meet with relatives you haven’t seen since last New Year’s Eve, there are always a thousand stories to tell,… and then, when the bells starts to ring, we eat twelve grapes, one for each ringing, thus trying to start the New Year with luck and harmony. Some people even make a wish for each grape they eat.
I love starting the New Year with my relatives. It is a moment of peace and happiness that I find difficult to put into words. Unfortunately, this moment does not last long, because suddenly you realize that you have less than an hour to put on your dress, heels, make up and get ready for the very first party of the year. It is true that we don’t even have a big place to celebrate New Year’s Eve here in Beasain, nothing similar to a ballroom or a disco, but that does not stop us when dressing as if we had been invited to the best party in New York. We fight the cold, nasty weather, even the storm that appears from nowhere and go from bar to bar until sunrise, drinking, dancing and wishing each other a fantastic new year in this little paradise we call home.
My name is Aitziber and I'm a 24 year old girl from the Basque Country. I love writing, reading and listening to music. I'm a native speaker of both Basque and Spanish and have been learning English for a long time now. Traveler and curious, I'm always trying new things and writing more things in a wishlist which is already too long for one life.