On my first New Year's Eve in Madrid a few years ago, we went out around 10 p.m., and found the streets deserted. The bars were closed.
It threw me for a loop: Weren't Madrileños supposed to be notorious party animals? Where were they all?
It turns out, I just went out way too early.
Spaniards often spend Nochevieja — literally, the "old night" — at home. They watch the countdown to the new year on live TV, surrounded by family. And only then do they kiss grandma goodnight and go out partying.