Christmas and New Year in Altea 

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the major Spanish family celebrations and it is common to celebrate at home with the family members.  This explains the atmosphere on Christmas Eve. It is rather quiet and many restaurants are even closed on Christmas Eve. Perhaps not that strange, because as a matter of fact, most Stadman International customers also choose to celebrate Christmas in their home country.

However, those who enjoy a good party, look forward to coming to Altea for New Year's Eve.  New Year's Eve is traditionally celebrated outdoors in Spain. The many restaurants offer special celebration menus and cater for everyone's budget. In Altea, the main square of the old town is where the magic happens. Shortly before midnight, people start gathering near the church with its blue domes. Young and old, Spanish and foreigners, families and groups of friends will come together to kick-start the new year.

Most of them will bring along their 'cotillon' from home. These typical Spanish 'party bags' are full of attributes, including serpentines, funny faces, and paper hats as well as the noisy party horns they are so fond of in Spain.  During the festive season, you buy the cotillion bags in any supermarket for next to nothing. 

The so-called 'uvas de la suerte' or the 'good luck grapes' are another absolute must-have attribute on New Year's Eve. The Spanish will start the year with non-less than twelve grapes, one for each month of the New Year. Following the quick rhythm of twelve strokes of the clock, each grape is eaten. Needless to say, Spanish supermarkets handily cater to this tradition by selling prepackaged grapes.

If you fancy joining the party in Altea, don't forget your red underwear. Tradition and superstition have it that the new year has to be started in red underwear, and this goes for both men and women.  If you visit the shopping center over the holiday season, you will soon spot a surprising amount of red underwear on display. For the ladies, a red bow tied to the bra strap is sufficient, as long as it is worn on the left-hand side, next to the heart. The red color is, of course, a symbol for love and passion, and this ritual is also believed to bring good luck for the new year. 

After eating the grapes, the corks of the cava bottles start will start popping. Cava is, of course, the Spanish drink par excellence for a toast.  A live orchestra gets the party going and later on, a DJ takes over as the party continues until the crack of dawn.  Celebrating the New Year in Altea is without any doubt unique and has to be experienced at least once.

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