How is new year’s eve in Italy like? An old Italian idiom says: “Spend Christmas with your family and New Year’s Eve with your friends”. The meaning of the sentence is clear. While Christmas is a festivity that still keeps its Christian roots intact and is devoted to parents and relatives, New Year’s Eve has all the features of a great pagan celebration when everybody is supposed to party and have fun.
This is the reason why many Italian towns offer their population great free open-air gatherings with live music where hundreds of people make a toast all together in the honour of the new year at midnight. Every discotheque organises “veglione” (which simply means “keep awake”), a great dance event that usually lasts till dawn, and fireworks are fired to welcome the new year that is usually represented as a new born babe.
According to the tradition, everybody should wear red underwear, as it wishes good luck with the other sex, and eat “Cotechino e lenticchie”, a traditional fat pork sausage served with lentils that symbolise financial fortune. People attend “Cenone” – a big dinner that lasts till midnight of the 31st December – when foods like the above mentioned “Cotechino”, stuffed pig’s trotter (“Zampone”) and currants are eaten in big quantity.
In a nutshell, in Italy New Year’s Eve is a great ceremony to attract good luck and prosperity, like in any Western country. Everybody does one’s best to be happy and have fun, and it is compulsory to forget all the bad of the old year, in order to welcome the new year with a sense of hope and good will. PocoLoco wishes all a Happy New Year!!!