One raisin, two raisins … 12 raisins!

I’m a regular reader of your newspaper and wondered if you could help me with a question to which I’m having trouble finding an answer. On New Year’s Eve, at midnight, my Portuguese friends gave me 12 raisins to eat and told me to make a wish, others told me to make 12 wishes (one per raisin). I asked them about this tradition and its origins, but no one was able to answer me. Can any of your readers help me?

Lucy Watson, Carvoeiro

Editor: Thank you for your letter, Lucy. We are offering a very special ‘The Resident Pen’ to the first reader who writes in with a correct answer. Just write to ‘12 Raisins’, Apartado 131, 8401-902 Lagoa