How to celebrate the New Year in Italy: traditions and customs

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As in any Catholic country, in Italythe main holiday is considered Christmas. But the Italians would not be Italians if they missed an additional reason for fun. Therefore, the New Year in this country is celebrated with no less scope, and for the history of the existence of the holiday, it acquired a large number of rituals, traditions and customs. How to celebrate the New Year in Italy?

Briefly about the main

New Year in Italy comes along with twotraditions: residents try to pay all their debts and throw away all old things. It is a symbol of the fact that it's time to say goodbye to last year's troubles, opening the door to a new future. By the way, old things are taken to be thrown out of the windows, so on New Year's Eve in Italy it is not very safe to walk through the streets of cities, especially in residential areas.

After the debts are given, and the old thingsthrown out, the Italians begin to set the table. To a festive dinner begin at 9 o'clock in the evening. On the table must be present fatty pork sausage and lentils. But this is not the point! The main thing is that these dishes are prepared by a woman in red underwear. It is believed that this will bring good luck in the coming year.

Meet the New Year in Italy is taken with wine, andnot with champagne. During the fight hours you need to have time to eat 12 white grapes. Eating should be calculated in such a way that the last berry falls on the first minute of the new year. And of course, according to tradition, in Italy the New Year is greeted in new clothes.

New Year's Grapes

After everyone enjoys delicious food andhome atmosphere, the Italians take to the streets and under the roar of fireworks continue to have fun until the morning. Now it is possible to delve deeper into the details of the New Year-Christmas holidays in Italy.

Features of the holiday

New Year in Italy, as, indeed, in anyanother country - an unusual holiday, and it must be met so that the next 12 months brought only positive emotions. Probably, that's why in Italy the New Year-Christmas holidays last from Christmas to Epiphany, and this is about a month.

In this country the New Year is called Capodanno, which intranslation means "head of the year". This day is also called St. Sylvester's Day. Dinner starts at 9 pm, and on the table must be at least 13 dishes. To the dinner invite only the closest friends of the family and relatives.

pork sausage and lentils

Since there are many provinces in the country, it has long beenit so happened that each of them has its own traditions regarding the New Year. And only one tradition of celebrating the New Year in Italy remains unchanged - concerts and festivities last all night, the streets are light, like in the daytime, from the illuminations, and on each window-sill you can see a flower pot in which there is an elegant Christmas tree.

Fireworks and firecrackers

On the streets are huge crowds of people, someof them dress up in carnival costumes and everything, absolutely everything at least once, but they will set fire to the firecracker and throw it to the ground. For an unprepared person, a festive night in this country may seem a terrorist act, as celebrating the New Year in Italy is very noisy and with the use of a large number of pyrotechnics. But the reason is not that the Italians are cheerful and windy guys who are just waiting for an excuse to stir. In fact, they are all very superstitious and believe that loud sounds drive away evil spirits.

how to celebrate the new year in italy

Old things and a happy meeting

As already mentioned, on New Year's EveItalians throw old things out of the windows. And the old things are not only grandmother's suitcase, smelling of mothballs, but also quite new items of modern life. Italians believe that we need to get rid of as many unnecessary items as possible, then in the coming year there will be new acquaintances, events and things.

In Italy, too,to whom they will meet on the morning of the first of January. If it is a young girl with a baby in her arms, then she will see a happy year. When a humpbacked man walks towards it, this is also considered a good sign. This appointment promises a comfortable year and a lot of money. But the meetings with the cleric Italians try to avoid at any cost. This is a bad sign, which indicates a great misfortune in the coming year.

Water & Fairs

To please the family, who invited toguests on New Year's Eve, it is best to bring clean water with them, it will be the most desired gift. Previously, you need to put a twig of olive, this water is called "new" and is a symbol of a happy and bright life, so this gift is very much appreciated.

Celebrating the New Year in Italy can notto do without traditional New Year's fairs. But most of all arrived at this time get clothes shops, because Italians believe that the new decoration, besides the red color, will bring its owner luck.

red lingerie

Father Frost in Italian

Babbo Natale - this is the way dubbed in Italythis caring old man. On the night of December 31 to January 1, he comes to all obedient children and puts them gifts in previously prepared socks. To Babbo Natal knew what the young inhabitants of Italy are dreaming of, there are red boxes on the streets of the country, in which letters should be thrown.

witch Befana

But this is not the only character who is happyto meet children. On the day of Baptism, the fairy Befana (or the good witch Befana) comes to the kids. She appears on a flying broom, holds a golden key in her hands and gives children surprises. Obedient children receive pleasant presents from it, and a pinch of ashes is designed to be evil and disobedient.


The harbinger of the New Year in Italy is consideredChristmas. Of course, after him there are several more holidays. But most of all the New Year is widespread. In some provinces, for holidays that are in the interval between Christmas and New Year, do not pay attention in principle.

Initially, Christmas was preceded by a holidaySaturnalia, which was held in honor of the god Saturn on December 17. In the time of the Republic and imperial Rome, this action lasted 5-7 days. This holiday marked the end of the harvest. And it was decided to rest, have fun, make feasts and give gifts to friends and relatives. During the holidays, gambling was not forbidden, and even slaves could swap places with their owners. Since the IV century BC. E., when the territory of the country spread Christianity, the usual Saturnalia was replaced by Christmas. At the same time, some ancient traditions that were popular during the pagan holiday were preserved.

The beginning of the feast

So how do you celebrate the New Year in Italy? Firstly, this feast is preceded by more than one holiday. Illumination of the city is begun at the end of November. By December 8 (the Day of the Immaculate Conception), all the cities and provinces of Italy are already ready for the holidays.

festive illumination

Throughout December workChristmas markets, of course, they are not as colorful and diverse as in Germany or Austria, but they have their own color, especially in the north of the country. At such fairs, you can buy traditional products, holiday sweets, Christmas decorations, gifts, etc.

In this period, wherever possible,set up darts and sing Christmas songs. 9 days before Christmas, Novena begins - a practice during which special prayers are read in the Catholic churches for 9 days. In some rural areas, children change into shepherds and walk from house to house with Christmas songs.

Quest: "To get to the Pope's Cathedral"

On Christmas Eve all believing Italians attend mass- a festive church sermon, which lasts on the night of 24 to 25 December. Someone simply goes to the nearest temple, and someone goes to the Vatican, to St. Peter's Cathedral, to listen to the sermon from the pope himself.

In order to get to St. Peter's Cathedral oron the eponymous square during Christmas, you need to book tickets in advance. They are absolutely free, but since there are a lot of interested people, it is necessary to register a few months before the event. This procedure can be completed online, it will be necessary to fill in the appropriate form and pass a small quest. If vacant seats are available, a notification from the Vatican will arrive at your home address, and 4-5 days before the holiday it will be necessary to pick up tickets from the prefecture of the Papal House.

In Italy, Christmas is celebrated in a warm familycircle at a large table with a huge variety of dishes. The feast can last a whole day with breaks for rest, it is necessarily complemented by table games and the exchange of gifts.

After Christmas

The next day after Christmas is also a holiday(Day of the holy first martyr Stephen) and the official day off. Already after him, the whole country is preparing for the New Year. Unlike Christmas, this holiday is celebrated outside the house. Folk festivals, light-music performances in the open air, concerts, parties, explosions of fireworks - all this will leave no one indifferent and with a probability of 100% will entice into the street.

Christmas decorations

Celebrants gather in the squares and in anticipationthe first New Year salute counts the last seconds of the outgoing year. According to the Italian belief, it is good to note not only New Year's Eve, but also the first of January. It is believed that what will be this day, and will be the whole year.

Traditions and customs of the New Year in Italy are diverse, and some of them are completely incomprehensible. As, for example, throwing old things out of windows.

January 6 celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, or Daythree kings. Hundreds of people in costumes march through the city and bear gifts for the pope in memory of the appearance of Christ. In many Italian cities, costume performances are simply arranged. On this day a rich table is being prepared, with which festive events are being completed. Day of the Epiphany reminds something of the old New Year in the CIS countries.

New Year in Italy - a luxurious and noisy holiday. This day is still imbued with the warmth of Christmas, but already reveals embraces to fervent merriment.

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