Many can agree that Italians are known to be quite superstitious, whether it be believing in the unlucky number 17 or wearing a cornicello around their neck to protect against the evil eye! The majority of the New Year’s Eve traditions in Italy are great examples of superstitions! Every country has different New Year’s celebrations, but several of these Italian New Year’s Eve traditions just might surprise you!
In many parts of Italy, it is common for individuals to throw glasses, plates, pots, pans, and many other unwanted belongings out of their windows from higher floors. This symbolises the ending of the previous year and a new beginning as Italians literally throw the past out of the window.
It wouldn’t be New Years in Italy without fireworks! Not only are fireworks a beautiful sight to Italians on December 31st, but they possess an even more symbolic meaning! In Italy, fireworks are believed to ward off evil spirits by actually frightening them with the loud noises they produce.
Wearing Red Underwear
According to the Italian tradition, red underwear will help bring luck into the lives of those who wear them. Both men and women in Italy wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck into the new year. Red is thought of as a lucky color that brings good fortune and wards off negativity. Wearing red underwear is also believed by Italians to be linked to fertility.
Eating A Traditional Italian New Year’s Dinner
Cotechino con lenticchie is Italian for sausage and lentils and it is the most traditional meal eaten in Italy on New Year’s at midnight. In Piemonte, lentils and risotto are meant to symbolize good fortune due to their resemblance of coins. Sausage is high in fat and therefore symbolizes bountifulness for the new year. Those who live in Naples eat figs for dessert as a symbol to ensure a sweet new year.
Tombola is a game that is extremely similar to bingo. It is played on holidays in Italy such as New Year’s Eve and Christmas. The game was originally made in the town of Naples as an alternative to traditional gambling which was forbidden by the church.
Felice Anno Nuovo!