Contributed by Charlene…
Although January is the off-season in Italy, you can enjoy a ski holiday in the north or a mild winter vacation in Sicily. Italian festivals and celebrations are in season all year round and January is no exception.
“Cenone di Capodanno” is the big New Year’s Eve dinner. Of course, Italian New Year’s Eve has the tradition fireworks and bubbly drinks, but Italians also celebrate by eating lentils and sausages at midnight to bring prosperity into their homes. Lentils are considered good luck because they look like little gold coins and they taste great with sausage. Starting the New Year on a full stomach is an Italian tradition, so eat up and enjoy.
“Lancio di Cocci” is the custom of throwing old kitchen crockery and other old household items out the window at midnight. The satisfying crash gets rid of all of last year’s bad luck and makes way for the good things to come.
Wearing Red Underwear. Both men and women wear new red underwear to greet the New Year and every Italian clothing store carries a full supply. There were many theories about why the underwear must be red: a passion for life, a good luck color, a symbol of courage, etc. Choose your favorite one and greet the New Year Italian style!
Other January celebrations include Epiphany (January 6th) when the good witch, La Befana, brings toys and sweets to the children. Legend says the three kings invited La Befana to join them on their journey to meet the Christ Child, but she said she was too busy. Later she regretted her decision and delivered belated gifts to every household.
January 7th is Tricolore Day, celebrating the three colors of the Italian flag: green, white, and red. It’s a day for parades, patriotic songs, and teaching Italian children about their history.
Let’s continue to share our history with family and friends and may your New Year be blessed with all good things. Felice Anno Nuovo!