The Night of the Red Underwear

red-underwear-2In Italy, New Years Eve, l’ultimo dell’anno, is celebrated with rites, rituals and events that are meant to bring good fortune, happiness and prosperity in the coming year. Derived from Roman celebrations in honor of Janus, the god of gates, doorways, beginnings and endings, New Years Eve in Italy is a time to put an end to the problems of the past and open the door to the possibilities of a New Year. And being Italian you want to ensure that you do so on the most fortuitous manner!

So wear something red, the traditional color of good fortune, on New Year’s Eve. If you’re Italian that would be red underwear! and eat grapes for good luck and prosperity and throw something old out the window.

Fill your table with regional Italian dishes that symbolize good fortune and abundance. Pork, coin shaped pasta and specialty sausages like cotechino and zampone served with lentils are traditional to the holiday. If you can’t find cotechino or a zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter), make your favorite sausage to serve with Giorgi Locatelli’s recipe for Herbed Lentil Soup

Then think about the wonders, beauty and blessings of the past year with a short “ringraziamento“, thanksgiving, and begin Capodanno 2016.