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The ritual of eating 12 grapes for the chime of chimes originated in Madrid's Puerta del Sol and is associated with a working class rebellion against the tax imposed in 1882 by Madrid Mayor José Abascal y Carredano. In December, he decided to introduce a tax of 5 pesetas for those who decide to hold festivities on the eve of Epiphany. It is known that in order to stage the arrival of three Biblical Magi in the city - Melchior, Gaspar and Belshazzar, the Spaniards staged noisy cavalcades, street performances and costumed processions. According to the mayor, a tax could help restore order in the streets of Madrid.

The working class, of course, did not like this decision, and in revenge they decided to triple their own holiday in front of the then City Hall. Each brought along 12 grapes and ate one of them under the chiming clock. Thus, the Spaniards expressed their indignation at the fact that they were deprived of the right to celebrate the holiday, as they would like, because only wealthy Spaniards could pay the tax. Eating grapes was in their eyes a mockery of the dining habits of the bourgeoisie and a statement of complete disrespect for the rich and their way of life.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Association of Otolaryngologists warns that in such an early grape eating there are many dangers for humans. They recommend buying seedless grapes and insist that the time between each beat of the clock be increased from 3 to 5 seconds, which will allow celebrants to breathe properly while eating grapes. People over 65 are not recommended to participate in this venture, as they are at risk and may simply suffocate. The same goes for children under the age of five.

The ritual of eating 12 grapes for the chime of chimes originated in Madrid's Puerta del Sol and is associated with a working class rebellion against the tax imposed in 1882 by Madrid Mayor José Abascal y Carredano. In December, he decided to introduce a tax of 5 pesetas for those who decide to hold festivities on the eve of Epiphany. It is known that in order to stage the arrival of three Biblical Magi in the city - Melchior, Gaspar and Belshazzar, the Spaniards staged noisy cavalcades, street performances and costumed processions. According to the mayor, a tax could help restore order in the streets of Madrid.

The working class, of course, did not like this decision, and in revenge they decided to triple their own holiday in front of the then City Hall. Each brought along 12 grapes and ate one of them under the chiming clock. Thus, the Spaniards expressed their indignation at the fact that they were deprived of the right to celebrate the holiday, as they would like, because only wealthy Spaniards could pay the tax. Eating grapes was in their eyes a mockery of the dining habits of the bourgeoisie and a utter disrespect for the rich and their way of life.

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Meanwhile, the Spanish Association of Otolaryngologists warns that in such an early grape eating there are many dangers for humans. They recommend buying seedless grapes and insist that the time between each beat of the clock be increased from 3 to 5 seconds, which will allow celebrants to breathe properly while eating grapes. People over 65 are not recommended to participate in this venture, as they are at risk and may simply suffocate. The same goes for children under the age of five.