38: New Year’s in Italy

by | Dec 29, 2020 | Podcast | 0 comments

Christmas  is over and it’s time to get ready for the new year. In part, I can’t believe it, where did this year go? On the other side, WOW it went by so slow.

I happen to love New Year’s though, and not for New Years Eve (I haven’t even made it to midnight in the last 3 years). I just love the traditions and feeling of something new, full of possibility, that only New Year’s can bring.

Speaking of traditions,Italy as usual, does not disappoint in this area. Ready to learn about how to celebrate New Year’s like the Italians do?? Andiamo!

  1. Wear red underwear. On new years eve, you should wear a pair of red panties to bring good luck into the new year. My mother-in-law helps us all out with this by buying us red underwear every year for Christmas. And yes, you heard right,  every year, because in order for the luck to “stick” you must throw out the old ones and wear a brand new pair every new year’s eve.
  2. Eating lentils – lentils resemble little round coins, so eating them on New Year’s day is said to bring good fortune. They are often served with another tradition, cotechino, which is sort of like Spam meets Italy – a giant greasy (delicious) pork sausage.
  3. Eating 12 grapes. This is actually a Spanish tradition that Italy now shares. You are supposed to eat 12 grapes at the strike of midnight. If you can eat them all before 12:01, you will have a prosperous year! 
  4. Don’t leave the house with empty pockets on New year’s day. When you first leave the house in the New Year, be sure to have some coins or money in your pocket.This is so that you start the new year right, to ensure your tasche or pockets are never empty.
  5. Have a pomegranate. Pomegranates have long been a symbol of fertility and good fortune. Often they are used as table decorations for the big cenone – or dinner – of New Year’s day, or cut into and enjoyed with a meal.

Here’s hoping for a great year ragazzi! Buon anno a tutti!


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Ciao, I'm Rachel

I am obsessed with everything Italian! After years living in Italy, being married to an Italian, getting my Italian citezenship through my Pugliese lineage, a BA in Italian language and literature, then a MA in Italian Art History, I have lots of experience with this country! Hang out with me to learn more!