Customs and traditions of the Italian New Year’s Eve

January 2, 2010 0 By sonia.massi

It still sounds very strange to say but it’s true: the New Year 2010 has arrived and with it, a new year of work, goals, achievements, satisfactions and, we wish both for you and for us, of peace and love. All members of the Gleni staff would like to start this new year by wishing you all the best that life has to offer, wonderful surprises and joyous times for you and for those close to your hearts.

We really hope that you have started 2010 full of energy and good humor and, above all in perfect health and that you have enjoyed a wonderful last day of 2009, surrounded by the love of your family!!!!

Have you followed all the most important traditional customs to start the new year as well as possible? In your country is there a specific lucky color to wear on New Year’s Eve or a typical New Year’s Eve dish to eat to see in the New Year with positivity and bring plenty of good luck?

Italy, as you know, is the motherland of traditions, especially the South of Italy where every smallest superstitious ritual to bring luck for the new Year has to be followed scrupulously.

Our company is located on the East coast of Central Italy but we too, are very attached to our special traditions, those secular customs handed down from generation to generation and we are proud to respect them in every detail.

But what are the ten most important rules to respect here in Italy on New Year’s Eve to guarantee a prosperous and happy new year? Let’s have a look together!!!!!

  • Wear something red. Red is the color of good luck here in Italy, and brings love and success so you absolutely must wear a red shirt or red pantyhose if you want your New Year to be positive and successful. However most women wear red underwear so that they can respect the tradition and, at the same time, look sexy and gorgeous.
  • Throw something old (such as an old porcelain dish or a glass) out of the window at midnight on New Year’s Eve, to chase away bad influences, and all the negative events of the old year, so you can start the new one with strength and dynamism. However, only a few older people living in the country still do this, because if you live in an apartment building in the centre of town and you throw your old dishes out of the window, you risk damaging the cars parked downstairs and spending the first day of the New Year at the police station, under arrest!!!!!
  • Eat grapes, preferably 12 red grapes, and toast the New Year with good Italian sparkling Spumante. Grapes are a symbol of money and luck and twelve is the perfect number to eat to enjoy a year of calm and financial stability (one lucky grape for each month).
  • At midnight, together with the grapes, it’s a tradition, here in Italy, to eat some special milk chocolate coins wrapped in foil to look like our Italian coins ( 1 Euro, 2 Euro, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent). These chocolates look like our coins but are wider than the real ones and they too are eaten wishing for a positive year in the matter of money and success.
  • A New Year’s Eve dinner here in Italy is not a traditional New Year’s Eve unless you eat Zampone and lenticchie, a typical Italian dish prepared especially for this event and eaten as a course during dinner or else at Midnight, to celebrate the New Year’s arrival.

It is said: The more Lenticchie you eat, the more money you gain in the coming year!!!!

This special dish, prepared with pork and Lenticchie of Castelluccio di Norcia, a special kind of lentil cultivated and produced in our territory, is the best known symbol of New Year’s Eve and everybody prepares it as a good omen for the coming year.  Both adults and children eat it, wishing to enjoy a more prosperous and positive Year than the one just ended.

  • Another symbol of luck is represented by dry fruits such as nuts, figs, dates, hazelnuts and they are usually eaten at midnight, together with the grapes and chocolate coins.
  • Many people, for their New Year’s Eve dinner cook a poached or baked salmon which, for Italians, is synonymous with success and prosperity.
  • Pomegranate, if eaten a few minutes before midnight of New Year’s Day, assures you money and love, above all if you share it with the beloved person.
  • Here in Italy, as in many other countries around the world, people celebrate the New Year’s arrival with fireworks, even though you have to manage the fire very carefully if you don’t want to risk burning your hands or endangering lives. Children stay up late for the occasion, playing together till Midnight and they too celebrate the New Year by lighting shining candles or by watching the fireworks from the windows (because outside the weather is usually very cold).
  • The Italian New Year’s Eve celebration doesn’t finish at Midnight, after the setting off of fireworks and the toasts with our Italian Spumante, but continues all night long with dancing, songs, games  and a lot of fun.

Have you ever taken part in an Italian New Year’s Eve? Did you enjoy it or did you find it too much? Write to us with your experiences!!!!!

Arben, Tatiana, Cristina, Sonia and the other members of Gleni staff wish you and your families a prosperous and magical new 2010, full of health, love and harmony!!!!

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