New Year's Eve Traditions - Italy


New Year's Eve or Capodanno in Italy

New Year's Eve in Italy, or La Festa di San Silvestro, or Capodanno, is celebrated like most Italian holidays, that is, with the emphasis being on family and food. Most of the towns in Italy will have a big fireworks display. The main dinner course is usually lentils or "lenticchie", along with a spicy sausage, or "salsiccia".

Another tradition is to play the Italian version of bingo, or "tombola", usually at private parties.

The traditional New Year's Eve celebration in Rome takes place at the Piazza del Popolo. Here you can see fireworks, concerts, people-watch, etc. Many parties will often last long enough to watch the first sunrise of the new year. In Venice, it will take place in St. Mark's square.

For a little something out of the ordinary, (and perhaps crazy), in Venice you can take a dip in the cold waters off Lido Beach. It is an early morning traditional swim that usually draws a good crowd, attempted by a few daring souls.

A sexy young Italian woman prepares for a night out on New Year's Eve. Wearing red underwear or red undergarments is supposed to bring good luck!
And finally, don't forget to wear your favorite red underwear, or red undergarments, as many Italians claim it will bring you good luck! Often times right before midnight, you will see a line heading to the restroom, as many will go in to change their underwear to red! There is even a debate about which type of red underwear to wear....some say that it must be a gift from someone, and that it must be new. Prior to the new year, you will see many stores displaying red underwear and red lingerie in their storefront windows. Others say that it does not need to be new or gifted (you won't hear a store owner say this!).

Pictured to the left is a young Italian woman, preparing to go out on New Year's Eve dressed in the traditional red undergarments which is supposed to bring good luck.

Many other countries have similar traditions: in Spain people will dress themselves in new clothing and gather at midnight to offer their prayers. The prayers are supposed to bring good luck and drive away evil spirts. In Brazil, people with dress in white to celebrate the new year. And they will offer gifts and flowers to the goddess of water, the Iemanjá. Legend has it that she will then bring good luck to the gift-giver for one year.

Buon capodanno!
Or Happy New Year!

Model pictured above is Angela Mirante

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