Welcome back! Did you have a happy Christmas?
Are you ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve, say goodbye to this terrible 2020 and welcome 2021 in the best way ?!
Today we will recount where this festivity originates from but above all we will give you some practical advice of the Italian tradition on how to greet the old year and enter the new one, bringing luck and wealth with you!
The story of New Year’s Eve: it is a festival of pagan origin that has its roots in the era of the Babylonians, who, however, usually celebrated the change between one year and another at the spring equinox, returning the agricultural tools received in loan as a sign of good intentions for the new year. In 46 BC Julius Caesar then dictated the transition to the Julian calendar and the feast, which for the ancient Romans was intended to celebrate the god Janus (probably the main divinity of the pantheon in the archaic era) thus began to fall between 31st December and 1st January. Starting in 1582, with the introduction of the current calendar by Pope Gregory XIII, history then took a very specific direction, and here is the New Year as we know it.
The traditions linked to this festival have also endured over time.
Such as the use of mistletoe hanging in the house, considered auspicious as a source of purification as well as a real elixir against sterility.
From the ancient Celestial Empire, China, instead comes the custom of wearing something red (usually underwear) to celebrate the beginning of the new year, a tradition that came through the Silk Road in the past centuries and consolidated over time in the Italian tradition.
Actually, according to Chinese tradition, red is the color that scares Niàn, the devouring beast that, on New Year’s Eve, comes out of the sea depths to feed on human flesh. Coming from this origin, wearing red or red decoration has become a tradition in Chinese New Year’s culture.
But red was also considered a good omen in imperial Rome:
during the celebrations for the new year, in fact, women dressed in “porpora” (it’s a precious red-tones color dye made of rare snails, it’s considered as the most excellent color that time. The handmade dye could vary in various shades, and the most required and precious one was a kind of bloody-red or fire-red), the color of courage, passion, power and fertility.
Another auspicious tradition is to leave the windows open at midnight or to throw away old things to make room for new projects. In the past, many in Italy decided to complete this propitiatory rite even throwing useless objects from their balcony.
From North to South of our country there are many different auspicious traditions including culinary ones, below we have collected some of the most representative and known.
Starting from one of the inevitable traditions such as the toast, (with of course Italian wine), bubbles are a classic of the New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year with panache, and it’s perfect to sparklingly accompany your desires towards the year to come. The bottle must be uncorked at midnight and, to ward off bad luck, it must make a big “BANG!”.
Then we have lentils.In Italy, the great New Year’s Eve dinner includes a portion of cotechino (a type of sausage made from boiled pork meat) and lentils at midnight. Pork, fat par excellence, is a symbol of abundance, while the famous legumes are good luck charms due to their shape which recalls coins.
Another New Year custom widespread in some Italian regions provides, instead, to light some candles before midnight. Tradition has it that a green candle is used to have wealth and a white and red one for love, letting them burn and consume throughout the New Year’s Eve.
Here are some notions on the history of the New Year and some
“trouble-free” advice to greet the old and welcome the New Year!
We wish you a Happy New Year and see you in 2021 !!!