It’s a holiday that is rich in tradition and infused with superstition, New Year’s Day in Italy.
Do you want to make this a year of success? How to make your new year successful like the Italians
Italian-style: Banish bad luck and old pans
Here’s how Italians have traditionally launched New Year’s Eve celebrations, especially in southern Italy: By throwing out old pots and pans, clothes, appliances, and furniture. Really! It is meant to be a symbol of “letting go” past unhappiness in order to prepare for the future. Even though most Italians have abandoned this tradition, you should still be on guard when you walk down the streets of Naples on New Year’s Eve.
One last chance to fire up the Yule Log
Another tradition is to light the Christmas log at the end of the year. Turns out, evil spirits don’t like fire! It is also an invitation to Mary the Virgin, who can warm the newborn Jesus beside the warm flames. Tradition says that the ashes were used by families to protect their homes from any damage.
Red undies are the best way to bring luck!
Yes, red underwear is luck. This applies to both men and women. This is why all those red underwear is hanging up in shop windows during this time of the year.
For a prosperous New Year, eat the right foods
It is about abundance in Italy that a traditional New Year’s Eve dinner symbolizes. This is what you want the new year to be about. In Piedmont, rice represents coins–so traditional dinner is risotto in Bianco (white risotto). Many dishes in Italy also include lentils, which symbolize wealth, and raisins for good luck.
Lentils with cotechino are a popular side dish. This is a large pork sausage that is boiled on low heat for four hours. Modena’s cotechino is protected by law, but it’s still a traditional product in Lombardy and Molise. Zampone is a sausage made from pig’s trotter hollowed out. The pieces of either one look like coins when they are cut. This is also the intention to bring wealth into the new year.
Treats to make the New Years sweet
Ancient Romans shared jars with dates and figs in honey to ensure a sweet new beginning. They also gave each other bay branches for good luck. Guess what? It hasn’t changed much in Naples, where people still exchange figs wrapped with laurel leaves.
Be on the lookout for fireworks
The bad spirits are also scared away by loud noises and fireworks. Expect lots of fireworks for New Year’s Eve. Every city and most Italian towns put on a spectacular display. Families and friends often throw their own fireworks or host their own. This is a more risky option. Be careful when you’re out and about!