How do we celebrate New Year in Italy? Do we eat as much as on Christmas day? Do we have particular traditions? Read the following text called New Year’s in Italy to find out all the answers!

Here we are. Like always, the year is coming to an end, and preparations are underway to celebrate the New Year. The first day of the year is a day during which we usually take some time to reflect and take stock of the year, thinking about how much positive and negative has happened during it, identifying what to keep and what to throw away, and making good New Year’s resolutions.

I believe this happens to everyone all over the world. But before January 1st, there is an evening, a whole night during which to celebrate. I’m talking about the famous New Year’s Eve, the night of December 31st.

What are the traditions that cannot miss?

San Silvestro (New Year’s Eve) is a night dedicated to fun and joy and because we are in Italy, a night dedicated to good food. Speaking of food, whether Italians go to restaurants or decide to stay at home, or whether they spend the night with their family or friends, the tradition says to have a “Cenone”, which literally means “big dinner”. As you can see from the name, this is a much richer dinner than the one we usually eat.

The highlight of the dinner is a dish that is said to bring good luck: cotechino with lentils. These two foods must be eaten strictly together since the first one is said to bring health, while the second is said to bring money. So, to start the year in the best possible way, to wish each other a year full of health and prosperity, all Italians, at least those who are not vegan or vegetarian, follow this tradition. In many places, instead of eating the cotechino, people prefer zampone, another pork-based delicacy.

The night between December 31st and January 1st, we eat, chat and play, waiting for midnight. And at the stroke of midnight, we exchange wishes, and we drink a good glass of sparkling wine, strictly Italian, to continue celebrating.

Something red

In Italy there is a tradition that goes back even to the Romans: on December 31st, everyone must wear something red. Whether it’s underwear, a shirt, or just a detail like a hair clip, everyone must have something red.

This color has strong symbolic power, as it represents power, fertility, health and wealth.

Read this text in Italian.

You may be interested in my article Christmas in Italy!


Listen to this episode in Italian! You can find the script here!

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