Every country has its individual holiday superstitions and traditions, and Portugal is no exception! And even though toasting with champagne or bubbly (never water) is customary almost everywhere, Portugal has other, more unusual traditions that may both surprise and appeal to you.

It’s customary to eat 12 raisins – one by one – at midnight. One raisin at each stroke of the clock, representing the months to come. Doing this will bring you luck.

Originally, the tradition was to eat 12 grapes, but raisins are much easier to eat in the short amount of time it takes for the clock to strike 12 times.


You’ll find small bowls of raisins at Portuguese tables every New Year’s Eve and people start dividing them up as midnight approaches, so everyone has them ready when the clock strikes. Better get to the store and get some raisins this December 31st!