Spanish Vocabulary: The New Year

Spanish Vocabulary: The New Year

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Spanish Vocabulary: The New Year
el vocabulario español: la nochevieja y el año nuevo 

  • Words and phrases used to celebrate The New Year.
  • Celebrate events with people all around the world.



la nochevieja : New Year’s Eve

el año nuevo : New Year’s Day

el brindis : toast

las doce uvas : twelve grapes

las lentejas : lentils (beans)

la medianoche : midnight

¡Feliz año nuevo! : Happy new year!

¡Próspero año nuevo! : Successful new year!

La Nochevieja says goodbye to the old year on New Year’s eve and El Año Nuevo celebrates the arrival of the New Year the next day. Hispanic traditions include making a toast, exchanging a kiss or hug, or eating twelve grapes—one for each stroke of midnight—to ensure your wishes come true for the New Year. Other good luck traditions include wearing yellow or red, eating a tablespoon of lentils, or carrying a suitcase around the block if you hope to travel.

On Nochevieja, there are also traditions for saying goodbye to the old year. Some people dress in masks representing el año viejo. Others build satirical figures called los años viejos that represent famous people or politicians. Adorned with poems or messages that poke fun at el año viejo, and filled with shavings and firecrackers, these figures are lit on fire at midnight, to burn and explode on street corners, as a final despedida, or farewell, to the old year.


La buena suerte In Lima, people believe touching a Chinese Lion brings happiness, good luck, and prosperity in the New Year. Ten percent of Peru’s population is of Chinese descent.


La medianoche In Madrid, people gather in the Puerta del Sol, holding bags of 12 grapes as they wait for the 12 strokes of midnight from the Puerta del Sol clock, the city’s official timekeeper.


Baile de los Gigantes In Antigua, people celebrate the New Year with the folkloric “Dance of the Giants.” These giant heads, or cabezudos, are similar to costumes used since the medieval period in Spain.


Paseo de los años viejos In Ecuador, families and neighbors take their año viejo figures out for a final ride before the Nochevieja celebration. Later on, at midnight, they will burn the figures.


¿A dónde vas para la nochevieja?
Where are you going for New Year’s Eve?

Nosotros vamos a la plaza para la nochevieja.
We are going to the plaza for New Year’s Eve.

¿Qué hace en su familia para ano Nuevo?
What does your family do for the new year?

Comemos doce uvas.
We eat twelve grapes.

¿Quién celebra el ano nuevo?
Who celebrates the New Year?

Todo el mundo celebra el año nuevo.
The whole world celebrates the New Year.

¿Cómo se celebran año nuevo en Ecuador?
How do they celebrate New Year in Ecuador?

Encienden fuegos artificiales.
They light up fireworks.

¿Cuándo es el año nuevo?
When is the New Year?

Cada primer día del año.
Every first day of the year.

¿Por qué celebramos año nuevo?
Why do we celebrate the new year?

Para celebrar nuevos comienzos.
To celebrate new beginnings.

¿Cuántos días dura la celebración?
How many days does the celebration last?

Solo un día.
Only one day.

¿Cuál es su costumbre favorito?
Which is your favorite custom?

Cuando hacemos el brindis del año nuevo.
When we make the toast of the new year.


  • LEAF Spanish Kahoot: New Year (Part 1)
  • LEAF Spanish Kahoot: New Year (Part 2)
  • LEAF Spanish Word Search: New Year

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