New Year’s Eve in Italy: traditional festivals and parties

Italians are fond of many things: food like pasta, pizza, wine and… festivals! The Capodanno that is the New Year’s Eve in Italy is a fab period to celebrate in Italy. Known also as “La Festa di San Silvestro”, it is celebrated the 31st of December on New Year’s Eve.

Food is the main character in this “play”. Families and friends get together for eating a lot! Traditionally, the dinner will have a cotechino to eat (that is a large spiced sausage), or a zampone (that is a stuffed pig’s trotter). The pork meat stands for the richness and future eventual prosperity in the coming months.

Lentils are also always on the table, as a symbol of money and a sign of good luck for the coming year.

Spumante or prosecco, Italian sparkling wine, is a must as well.

Huge midnight fireworks displays will welcome the coming of the new year. You can join the official shows in the central square or the private parties with firecrackers or sparklers. Naples is well-known for the best and the biggest New Year’s fireworks shows in Italy.

Dancing and music is also a must in the last years: many towns have “il concerto di mezzanotte” meaning music and dancing before the fireworks. Rome, Milan, Bologna, Rimini, Palermo and Naples but also nsome other towns nowadays create magical events with pop and rock bands performing for free outdoor. New Years parties will often last until sunrise to say hello to the new year.

Guests in the parties play a game called”Tombola”, a sort of Bingo, but even funnier: each number has a nickname or a story attached!

In the south of Italy, people will be throwing old things out the window, in order to underline that they are ready to get rid of their old sorrow and attachment and accept a brand New Year.

Another habit is to wear a new thing and a red underwear: do it and this will bring you luck in the coming year!

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