Italians are known for their love of holidays and over the top parties and they take ringing in the New Year, known as il capodanno very seriously. As 2014 comes to a close and we look forward to new and exciting challenges of 2015, we thought we would share some of the cultural traditions celebrated in Italy.
One of the most popular ways to celebrate the New Year in Italy is La Festa di San Silvestro, and as with most Italian festivals, food plays a very important role in the celebration. Friends and families gather for a large dinner, the menu typically includes lentils, which symbolize the money and good fortune in the upcoming year, cotechino – a large spiced sausage, and zapone – stuffed pig’s trotter, the pork is meant to symbolize the richness of life in the upcoming years.
Much like the New Years celebrations we host in the U.S., the La Festa di San Silvestro features firework displays at midnight which are shot from the center square from each town. Many towns also feature bonfires, public music and dances. The larger cities, Rome, Milan, Bologna, Palermo, and Naples host the largest New Years festivals which can also be seen on television throughout the country.
Other New Years Eve traditions in Italy include:
– Playing Tombola, a game similar to bingo.
– Enjoying Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco.
– Rather than just staying up until midnight for the first minutes of the New Year, many Italians will stay up until morning to watch the first sunrise of the year.
– An older custom that many Italian families in the southern parts of the country includes throwing old things out the window to symbolize a willingness to star the New Year off fresh. If you happen to be walking in southern Italy on New Years Eve be sure to keep a lookout for falling objects!
– Finally, don’t forget to wear red underwear as you ring in the New Year to bring you luck and wealth!
Whether you are planning to ring in the New Year by watching fireworks, celebrating with a little prosecco, or tossing old items out your window, we at Sardella’s Pizza and Wings wish you a happy and safe 2015 and look forward to serving you and your family throughout the year!