New Year is a massive holiday all over the world. There’s nothing like the night of the 31st of December to remind us of the possibility of a fresh start. Many countries developed a unique set of traditions and superstitions, and Italy is one of those. So here are the top 5 Italian New Year’s Eve traditions.
Huge family dinner
Italians love food. The majority of our family events and festivities revolve around food. On the last day of the year, we sit down with our family for the cenone, literally translating to “big dinner”. If you're ever to witness an Italian family dining on the 31st of December, then be prepared to eat a wide range of Italian delicacies, including lentils which are a must!
No cenone is complete without a plate of hot steaming lentils, that accompany the cotechino — a large pork sausage. Because of the round shape of these red legumes, Italians believe that eating them will bring a lot of money. If you have the chance, I recommend filling your plate with delicious lentils and enjoying your fortune!
Out with the old
Italians are very superstitious. We believe that if we throw out our old things, the bad luck and negativity of the previous year will not touch us. In some cities of Italy, throwing a plate against a wall is enough. In others, like Naples for example, that's not even close to being enough.
If you're spending New Year's Eve in the South of Italy, be on the lookout for flying pots and pans, shattering in the alleys of the city.
Going to a New Year's party implies dressing up and in Italy it also means to put on red underwear. This folk custom dates back to Ancient Roman times, during which the color red was associated with war, but wearing the color referred to purging one's fear of war. Nowadays, this tradition is meant to keep at bay disasters and negative forces from the year to come.
Leave the house with a bit of money in your pocket
Start the New Year with the right foot, by making sure you leave the house with a bit of change in your pocket. According to folk legends and traditions, if you leave the house with money in your pocket on the first of the year, you'll have something to spend every day of the year.
And how do you ring in the New Year in your country? Let me know in the comments! Oh, and have a great new year! Buona fine e buon principio!