Share This Post
8 Italian New Year’s Traditions to Help You Ring in the New Year
New Year’s is a huge celebration in Italy, just like the entire holiday season. It starts on New Year’s Eve and continues throughout New Year’s Day. Many people celebrate all night long and never go to sleep until the following evening.
Italians ring in the new year with huge meals and a wide range of Italian snacks, treats, and flavorful wines. Fireworks displays are a must, whether you view them at a public display or do your own at home.
If you have Italian ancestors, they may have passed down New Year’s traditions that you still celebrate to this day. If you recently found out you are of Italian descent or want to get more in touch with your Italian roots, you will certainly want to check out these traditions and consider including them in your New Year’s celebration this year.
1. Including Lentils and Sausage in Your New Year’s Eve Feast
Italians who adhere to traditions will ensure they eat lentils on New Year’s Eve to bring happiness, well-being, and good fortune in the year ahead. Also, pork sausages, such as cotechino or zampone, are often cut into coin shapes and consumed, symbolizing abundance and wealth.
2. Breaking Old Kitchenware
In some regions of Italy, there is a New Year’s Eve tradition of breaking old plates, dishes, and other kitchenware at midnight. This practice, known in some localities as ‘lancio dei cocci,’ is thought to help keep evil spirits away and promote good fortune in the year to come.
3. Eating Grapes
Aside from drinking great-tasting wines, Italians will make sure to eat grapes on New Year’s because tradition states that doing so will help make you wise. This is also a popular tradition in Spain!
4. Getting Rid of Items No Longer Wanted or Needed
Here in the U.S., we typically do this when we spring clean. Not in Italy. Italians start the new year off by getting rid of clothing, furniture, and other household items they no longer want or need.
5. Enjoying ‘i botti di Capodanno’
Watching the fireworks on New Year’s Eve is a time-honored tradition. At the stroke of midnight, marking the beginning of New Year’s Day, fireworks illuminate the sky. This Italian New Year’s tradition is steeped in the belief that the loud noises drive away evil spirits, ensuring safety and protection for you and your family in the year to come.
6. Snacking on Dried Fruit and Nuts
In Italian New Year’s tradition, ‘frutta secca,’ or dried fruit, holds a special place at the festive table. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, dried figs, and raisins are commonly served, symbolizing abundance and good fortune. Consumed after the main meal or as part of the evening’s array of treats, these fruits are not only a sweet way to end the year but also carry wishes for prosperity and health in the year to come.
7. Wearing Red Underwear
Red underwear sales peak in December in Italy, as men and women buy new red underwear to wear on New Year’s Eve and throughout New Year’s Day. This Italian tradition, which started with the ancient Romans, is supposed to help bring good luck, keep evil spirits away, and bring happiness.
8. Kissing Your Loved One Under Mistletoe
This is a holiday tradition that many of us do during Christmas here in the U.S. Traditions in Italy include it on New Year’s Eve, as well, since it is meant to bring much love and success to your relationship in the coming year.
Even if you are not living in Italy this New Year’s Eve, you can incorporate these New Year’s traditions into your celebration. Everyone at the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program wishes you and your family a Happy New Year!
To find out more about becoming an Italian citizen and to see if you qualify for American-Italian dual citizenship status, please feel free to give us a call at (305) 812-5512 for a free telephone consultation today!