New Year’s Eve celebrations in Italy

All around the world, New Year’s Eve Celebrations are a huge event.
Following the Gregorian Calendar, the new year starts the 1st January.
Every country has its own traditions; in Italy we have several, too.
We consider this day as a new beginning, leaving behind the past.
To be honest,  follow all the traditions connected to New Year’s celebrations could be stressful. However, there are some which cannot be ignored.

Usually, on December 31 we organize a ‘’cenone’’ (literary means big dinner), with friends or family. Even restaurants, for the special occasion, have a fixed menu with different courses.
After that, it’s time to wait for midnight! In all the most important squares of the cities you will find events, concerts, bands and singers performing.
In Rome, the most popular places for events are Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia, Piazza del Popolo and San Giovanni… All the city is a unique party!
Concerning our traditions, what you have to know is:

WEAR RED UNDERWEAR

Probably this tradition comes from the Romans, who used to wear red dresses in order to shake off the fear of blood. Nowadays it is important to have it during New Year’s Even celebrations.
But remember: it must be a present from someone you love and throw it away the day after. It is a symbol of good luck.

New Year's Eve Celebrations
You can find red underwear in any shop – Italians really go crazy for it!

LENTILS

Lentils can not miss on the table for the cenone of the end of the year. Eating lentils means that  you will be lucky and they will bring you money for the next year.
It is also a very strong legume, symbolizing  a long life.

COTECHINO/ZAMPONE

It is essential to eat the cotechino or the zampone. Both are made with pork meat, but there is a difference with the envelope. The first one is a sort of sausage; the second is made with the paw of the pork.
When it comes midnight, it is part of the tradition to eat them together with lentils.

New Year's Eve Celebrations
Just a typical New Year’s dish, a must for Italians!

GRAPES

This tradition takes its origin from Spain. Eating grapes on New Year’s Eve celebrations has a meaning similar to lentils. On every Italian table there must be a grapes for the end of the year’s dinner. Every raisin assumes the meaning of a golden coin.

FIREWORKS

At the stroke of midnight, it is a common habit to shoot fireworks and firecrackers. The reason is to frighten the evil spirits and little devils with the loud noise and bangs. Even the sparkling wine cap, shot to celebrate midnight, is a great way to ward off the various devils.

 

If you want you can follow these few habits for your New Year’s Eve celebrations.
I am sure that your 2018 will be rich in luck, prosperity, love, friendship and joy!

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