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What You Need to Know About New Year’s in Italy: 8 New Year’s Traditions
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.
New Year’s celebrations are marked by huge meals with a wide range of Italian cuisines, 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, 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 stick with traditions will make sure to eat lentils as the New Year starts to bring happiness, well-being, and good fortune in the coming year. Sausages are cut into the shape of coins and eaten because they represent abundance and wealth.
2. Breaking Old Kitchenware
One New Year’s Eve tradition is to break old plates, dishes, and other kitchenware at midnight to help keep evil spirits away and promote good fortune in the coming year. Italians call this tradition Il Lancia Dei Cocci.
3. Grapes Should Be Eaten
Aside from drinking great-tasting wines, Italians will make sure to eat some grapes on New Year’s because tradition states that doing so will help make you wise.
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. I Botti Di Capodanno (Fireworks on New Year’s Eve)
At the stroke of midnight, and the start of New Year’s Day, fireworks are set off. Fireworks are a traditional ritual that helps keep evil spirits away, since they dislike loud noises, to keep you and your family safe in the coming year.
6. Burning of the Yule Log
The Yule Log is completely burned on New Year’s Eve. The ashes are then used to help protect the home from evil spirits. The ashes can be kept inside in various containers or spread around the exterior of the home.
7. Wearing Red Underwear
Red underwear sales peak in December in Italy, as everyone wants red underwear to wear on New Year’s Eve and throughout New Year’s Day. This tradition is supposed to help bring good fortune, 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. In Italy, they make sure to do 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!