Italian New Year’s Eve: Celebrating the Arrival of the New Year Italian-style

Christmas in Italy is typically dedicated to family, while New Year’s eve is spent having fun and celebrating with friends.

New Year’s Eve celebrations often center around “Veglione,” or “The Big Stay Awake”, an Italian term meaning “The Big Stay Awake”. A Veglione can take place in restaurants, hotels or clubs and serves as an informal party where attendees wait until midnight to welcome in 2019.

It’s common practice to gather for dinner on any Veglione with friends, lovers or parents/relatives before attending a club party afterward.

Some cities also have the tradition of celebrating New Year in public events such as concerts and featuring world-famous entertainers.

Italy’s New Year tradition comes with strict rules to be observed; ancient legends and superstitions dictate that to ensure good luck in the New Year it’s necessary to do certain actions:

People across the country enjoy eating lentils with pork – typically through the cotechino recipe – as part of a tradition called cotechino. Lentils are thought to bring prosperity for the coming year because their appearance resembles small golden money; another interpretation says they signify health rather than wealth as they’re considered such nutritious food sources.
Red is often associated with good fortune; in Italy it is customary for New Year’s Eve celebrations to wear red underwear as a symbol of good luck. Red is traditionally the color associated with Christmas around the globe and in Italy too; however, Italians associate its meaning with that of New Year as well.

“I botti”: Italians love fireworks and firecrackers; on New Year’s Eve in some cities it can resemble an explosion war zone after midnight as hundreds of homes come out with small explosions from all sorts of fireworks and firecrackers – often from “I botti.”
An old tradition, now forgotten entirely, involved throwing old, broken or unwanted objects out the window for disposal.
As in our globalized world, traditions change over time; that can certainly be said of Italian New Year’s Eve traditions as well. Many young people travel overseas in groups or couples in search of New Year celebrations to mark this celebration.

On New Year’s Eve, Italians tend to celebrate by having fun and forgetting any past woes while using ancient traditional symbols to bring good luck for the New Year – welcoming it with “buon anno!”.

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