How to Say Happy New Year in Spanish: New Year Guide 101

by Fransic verso
Happy New Year in Spanish

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate the beginning of a new one. And what better way to do so than by learning how to say Happy New Year in Spanish?

As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, knowing how to wish someone a happy new year in Spanish can come in handy when celebrating with Spanish-speaking friends and family or even when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries.

In this blog post, we’ll explore different phrases and traditions for ringing in the new year in Spanish-speaking cultures. So, get ready to learn some new ways to say Happy New Year in Spanish and make your celebrations even more special!

Ring in the year with bells

As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, the streets of Spain come alive with the joyous sound of bells ringing. This centuries-old tradition is believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits, ensuring a prosperous and harmonious start to the new year.

The tradition of ringing bells on New Year’s Eve originated in ancient Rome, where it was believed that the noise would scare away evil spirits and bring good luck.

Over time, this custom spread throughout Europe and eventually made its way to Spain, where it has become an integral part of New Year’s celebrations.

In Spain, the tradition of ringing bells on New Year’s Eve is particularly strong in the capital city of Madrid. Every year, thousands of people gather in the Puerta del Sol, the city’s main square, to ring in the new year together.

As the clock strikes midnight, the bells of the nearby Royal Post Office begin to chime, and the crowd erupts in cheers and applause. The atmosphere is electric, filled with excitement and anticipation for the year ahead.

In addition to ringing bells, some Spanish-speaking countries have another unique tradition on New Year’s Eve: eating 12 grapes at midnight. It is believed that eating one grape for each month of the new year will bring good luck and prosperity in the coming months.

Red underwear for love

In many cultures, the color red is associated with passion and love. As a result, wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring good luck in love and relationships in the coming year.

This tradition is particularly strong in Spain, where it is believed that wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve will ensure that the wearer will find love in the coming year.

Some people believe that the red underwear must be new, while others believe that any red underwear will do. There is also some debate about whether the underwear must be worn inside out or right side out.

Some people believe that the underwear must be worn inside out, while others believe that it must be worn right side out. Ultimately, the most important thing is to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve with the intention of attracting love.

In addition to wearing red underwear, there are several other things that people can do to attract love on New Year’s Eve. Some people believe that it is important to kiss someone at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Others believe that it is important to make a wish for love at midnight. Still, others believe that it is important to visualize oneself in a loving relationship.

Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the holiday. After all, New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate new beginnings, and what could be a better way to start the new year than by attracting love into your life?

Lentils for prosperity

Lentils are a traditional New Year’s Eve food in Spain, and are said to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. There are a few different ways to eat lentils for good luck, but the most common is to eat twelve lentils at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

You can also eat a spoonful of lentils every day for the first twelve days of the year, or carry a lentil in your pocket or purse all year long. Some people also cook their lentils with bay leaves and cinnamon for extra prosperity.

The tradition of eating lentils on New Year’s Eve is thought to have originated in ancient Rome

Where lentils were considered a symbol of wealth and abundance. Lentils are also a staple food in many parts of the world and are often seen as a symbol of nourishment and sustenance. In Spain, lentils are often cooked with chorizo, a spicy sausage, and served as a hearty stew.

Eating lentils on New Year’s Eve is a fun and easy way to bring good luck and prosperity into your life. Whether you choose to eat twelve lentils at midnight, a spoonful of lentils every day for twelve days, or carry a lentil in your pocket, you’re sure to enjoy this delicious and symbolic tradition.

The Basics of New Year Greetings in Spanish and Happy New Year in Spanish

happy new year on balloon
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Now that we’re geared up to celebrate the New Year in Spanish style, let’s dive into the fundamental greetings that will ensure you ring in the New Year like a true hispanohablante!

The go-to phrase to shout as the clock chimes twelve is “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!”

Say it with me: “feh-lees an-yo nweh-vo.” Got it? Good!

This translates directly to “Happy New Year” and is sure to be heard all over as the new year rolls in.

Looking for an alternative?

Well, Spanish, rich in its expressions, gives us another equally popular phrase. Make some noise with “¡Prospero Año Nuevo!”, pronounced as “pros-pe-ro an-yo nweh-vo,” which wishes everyone a “Prosperous New Year!”

As you can see, it’s not just about marking the new year’s arrival, it’s about sending out those positive vibes for the year ahead.

So whether you’re under the dazzling fireworks in Madrid, on a vibrant beach in Mexico, or just at a local fiesta, remember these phrases.

And as the new year descends upon us, let your voice join the chorus of cheer that fills the air, delivering joy, hope, and warmth in the heart of the Spanish-speaking world.

Wishing Well in Spanish for the New Year

Once you’ve aced the all-important greeting, let’s elevate your Spanish New Year lexicon by adding in some heartfelt well-wishes.

Extend your sentiments beyond just the initial cheer with these phrases that embody the spirit of love, luck, and prosperity.

For instance, if you want to wish someone a life brimming with health, love, and financial stability, you can say, “¡Salud, amor y dinero!” This heartfelt wish, pronounced “sah-looth, ah-more ee de-nair-oh,” translates directly to “Health, love, and money!”


But remember, it’s not just the words, it’s the emotion and warmth behind them that make these wishes truly resonate.

If you’d rather opt for a more universal wish, a message of general good fortune can be conveyed with “¡Que tengas un buen año!” Pronounced “keh ten-gahs oon bwen an-yo,” this lovely phrase means “May you have a good year!”

Feel free to sprinkle it in your conversations throughout the night as you greet your friends, family, or new acquaintances. It’s a simple, yet potent phrase that’s sure to be appreciated and reciprocated.

And here’s a little insider tip:

Spanish is a language rich in its expressions and full of love, so don’t shy away from adding a little extra warmth to your delivery. It’s the best way to spread the festive spirit and make your New Year celebration unforgettable!

“New Year’s Resolutions in Spanish”

2 number for new year party
Photo by Inga Seliverstova

As the excitement of the New Year’s countdown fades and the confetti begins to settle, the focus shifts to the promise of the year ahead. And what better way to embrace this new beginning than with some New Year’s resolutions?

Whether it’s vowing to get healthier, learning a new skill, or promising to spend more time with loved ones, New Year’s resolutions are a tradition shared globally.

So, why not express these resolutions in Spanish?

To communicate your resolutions, you can use the phrase “Mi resolución de Año Nuevo es…” pronounced “mee reh-so-loo-sion de an-yo nweh-vo es…”

This means, “My New Year’s resolution is…” Now fill in the blank with your chosen resolution. For example, if your resolution is to learn to cook, you’d say, “Mi resolución de Año Nuevo es aprender a cocinar.” If you’re pledging to exercise more, you’d express it as, “Mi resolución de Año Nuevo es hacer más ejercicio.”

Now, what if you want to inquire about someone else’s resolutions? You could ask, “¿Cuál es tu resolución de Año Nuevo?” pronounced as “kwal es too reh-so-loo-sion de an-yo nweh-vo?” This simply translates to, “What is your New Year’s resolution?”

It’s a wonderful conversation starter, helping to bridge connections and build camaraderie as you step into the new year together.

Should you feel particularly inspired and decide to make multiple resolutions, do not fret. The plural term for resolutions in Spanish is “resoluciones.” Hence, you could say, “Mis resoluciones de Año Nuevo son…” or “My New Year’s resolutions are…”

As you express your New Year’s resolutions in Spanish, remember that these promises to yourself are not just about self-improvement but about hope, aspiration, and the sheer joy of envisioning a future full of potential.

So, whether your resolution is to travel more, read more, or perhaps even improve your Spanish, these phrases can help you articulate your goals with conviction and flair in the language of Cervantes.

And who knows, maybe speaking your resolutions aloud in Spanish will give them that extra sprinkle of magic they need to come true!

After all, as we say in Spanish, “¡El año nuevo trae nuevas esperanzas!” – “The New Year brings new hopes!” Now, go forth and embrace the promise of a brand new year with gusto and joy, “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!”

The Tradition of “Las Doce Uvas de la Suerte”

As the old year gives way to the new, there is a unique Spanish custom that adds an element of fun and anticipation to the New Year’s festivities.

“Las Doce Uvas de la Suerte” or “The Twelve Grapes of Luck.” This engaging tradition has its roots deep in Spanish culture and adds a charming twist to the midnight countdown.

As the clock starts chiming the midnight hour, people prepare to munch on twelve grapes, one with each bell toll. But these are no ordinary grapes! Each grape is a carrier of good fortune, a tiny green orb packed with potential.

The thrill lies in consuming each grape at the exact stroke of the bell and making a wish as you do so. It’s a delightful, albeit slightly challenging, way to herald the new year, packed with hope, joy, and of course, sweet and juicy grapes!

In case you want to participate in this custom with your Spanish-speaking friends, you could say, “¡Vamos a comer las doce uvas de la suerte!” which joyously translates to “Let’s eat the twelve grapes of luck!”

Moment of imagination:

Now imagine this scene: a room filled with laughter and cheer, everyone eagerly waiting for the clock to strike twelve, and then a chorus of crunches as everyone bites into their grapes, their faces alight with hope and excitement for the year to come. It’s a moment of collective merriment that beautifully encapsulates the spirit of New Year’s Eve.

So, whether you’re a Spanish native or an enthusiastic learner of the language, embracing the tradition of “Las Doce Uvas de la Suerte” can add a pinch of Spanish flavor to your New Year’s celebration. Just remember to have your grapes ready as midnight approaches and your wishes close to your heart.

Important note

And as you munch your way into the new year, remember, it’s not just about getting through all twelve grapes, it’s about the joy, the anticipation, and the shared optimism that makes this tradition truly special. After all, who could say no to a bit of luck and a lot of fun to kick start the new year?

Other Phrases to Use for New Year Celebration

Now that we’ve learned the traditional New Year greetings, wishes, resolutions, and even a fun tradition in Spanish, let’s sprinkle in some additional phrases to make your New Year celebrations even more vibrant and memorable.

These phrases will enable you to convey your excitement for the new year, share your reflections on the year gone by, and anticipate the wonders the upcoming year holds, all in the melodious language of Spanish.

Estoy emocionado por el Año Nuevo

One phrase that you can use to express your anticipation and enthusiasm for the new year is, “¡Estoy emocionado por el Año Nuevo!” Say it aloud: “Ees-toy e-mo-thi-o-na-do por el An-yo Nweh-vo.”

This lively phrase translates to “I’m excited for the New Year!” Let this expression of eagerness light up your conversations and make your excitement contagious.

Este año ha sido increíble, ¡espero que el próximo sea aún mejor

As you reminisce about the year that’s drawing to a close and look forward to the one about to dawn, you might want to share your reflections and hopes with others.

To do so, you can use the phrase, “Este año ha sido increíble, ¡espero que el próximo sea aún mejor!”

Pronounce it like this: “Es-te an-yo ah see-do in-cre-ee-ble, es-pe-ro ke el prok-si-mo sea ah-oon meh-jor.” This heartfelt statement means, “This year has been amazing, I hope the next one is even better!”

It’s a beautiful way to acknowledge the joys and accomplishments of the past year while inviting more good fortune in the year to come.

Remember, the Spanish language is known for its expressiveness and warmth, so don’t hold back when using these phrases.

Whether you’re at a lively fiesta in Spain or simply sharing a quiet meal with Spanish-speaking friends, use these phrases to make your New Year celebrations even more special.

After all, ringing in the New Year isn’t just about the stroke of midnight; it’s about the words we share, the hopes we voice, and the connections we strengthen.

So go ahead, fill your New Year celebration with these Spanish phrases, and welcome the new year with a hearty “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!”

How to prepare for the new year eve

In Spain, New Year’s Eve is a time for family, friends, and festivities. To prepare for the big night, there are several traditions that are said to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year.

One important tradition is to thoroughly clean your house.

This is believed to sweep away any bad luck from the past year and make way for a fresh start. Be sure to clean every nook and cranny, and don’t forget to declutter and get rid of anything you don’t need.

Finally, it is customary to open the windows and doors of your house at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

This is said to let out the old year and let in the new. As the clock strikes midnight, throw open your windows and doors and let the fresh air in. This is a symbolic gesture that signifies a new beginning and a fresh start.

Ideas to celebrate with your Spanish friends

On New Year’s Eve in Spain, it is customary to exchange gifts with loved ones and friends.

Common gifts include bottles of cava (Spanish sparkling wine), chocolates, and other small tokens of appreciation.

It is also a tradition to attend parties or gatherings on New Year’s Eve, where people can enjoy music, dancing, and good company.

Many people also choose to dine out at restaurants or prepare special meals at home, often featuring traditional Spanish dishes such as cocido madrileño (a hearty chickpea stew) or paella (a rice dish with seafood and meat).

As the clock strikes midnight, people raise their glasses of cava and toast to the new year, wishing each other health, happiness, and prosperity in the year to come.

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Olga December 27, 2023 - 10:54 am

It is a fun article! I love the idea of opening doors and windows at midnight on New Year’s Eve. And I`ll try to eat twelve lentils at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I need big luck in 2024! There are so many cool traditions to explore.

Fransic verso December 27, 2023 - 11:03 pm

Thank you for reading and commenting your thoughts about this post.

Beth December 27, 2023 - 11:24 am

I really enjoyed learning about some of the Spanish New Year traditions. Thanks for this great little guide!

Fransic verso December 27, 2023 - 11:04 pm

That’s awesome, glad you enjoyed reading and sharing your thoughts.

Renata Feyen December 27, 2023 - 3:07 pm

I can speak Dutch, English, French and German, but I can only speak a few words of Spanish. I didn’t know it was so widely spoken

Fransic verso December 27, 2023 - 11:04 pm

Wow, that’s awesome, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Debbie December 28, 2023 - 6:48 am

This was such a fun post to kick off the New Year. I enjoyed learning about some of the cultural traditions, customs, and learning how to say Happy New Year in Spanish!

Fransic verso December 30, 2023 - 11:26 pm

Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Marysa December 28, 2023 - 2:01 pm

I love learning about different traditions and how things are done in different places around the world. How interesting! Love the lentils!

Fransic verso December 30, 2023 - 11:27 pm

That’s awesome, its good to learn about them.

Richard Lowe December 28, 2023 - 6:45 pm

I didn’t know there is a tradition of eating lentils on NY’s eve. I’ll eat some in a few days in the evening to help bring in the new year. I love lentils.

Fransic verso December 30, 2023 - 11:27 pm

Well, glad now you know them. Thank you for reading~

Sonia Seivwright December 30, 2023 - 2:02 pm

What a great way to learn about the traditions and customs of celebrating the New Year in Spanish-speaking cultures! I love the idea of ringing in the New Year with the sound of bells or eating twelve grapes at midnight. It’s fascinating to see how different cultures celebrate the same event in unique ways. And let’s not forget about the red underwear for good luck in love! These traditions are not only fun but also carry a deeper meaning and significance. I can’t wait to try out some of these ideas with my Spanish-speaking friends and family. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Fransic verso December 30, 2023 - 11:31 pm

Right? It’s very cool to experience it as well. Thank you for reading and commenting!

khoingn | The Broad Life December 31, 2023 - 7:40 am

Very interesting! I love to know more about other countries’ traditions and cultures. Surely Spain has so many interesting things in the occasions like the new year.

Fransic verso December 31, 2023 - 11:20 pm

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts about this post.


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