12 strikes of the belltower at the regional government offices on the Puerta del Sol were met with cheers and revelry at midnight on Friday when local authorities carried out their annual bell test to ensure it is functional on December 31.
In recent years, more and more people have turned out early to celebrate at the square, which is one of the most popular and crowded places in Madrid on New Year’s Eve.
As traditional, one grape is eaten for each of the 12 chimes of the bell to bring luck for the new year.
This year’s celebrations were marked by a heavy police presence, with around 100 police officers securing the square, according to news agency EFE.
Bollards were also in place to prevent a truck attack similar to those in Nice and Berlin.