Bringing in the New Year in Italy is a very serious event! There are many traditions to follow to ensure that the new year will bring you everything you desire…The event takes some preparation – mostly in the form of shopping for all the necessary foods and clothing!
The first order of business involves making sure that you have some red underwear underneath your New Year’s Eve attire! Red underwear is mandatory to insure that the New Year will bring you luck!!! Now, how many of you wore your red underwear to bring in the New Year!? I did, but frankly almost forgot to – luckily my Italian cousin reminded me to put it on!!!
The other tradition involves eating cotechino with lentil beans…but only after the stroke of midnight. It doesn’t count if you eat it for New Year’s Eve dinner – it must be consumed after the New Year has been brought in. A few years ago, while in Italy for this night, we ate a huge dinner around 9 pm. Then after some dancing and champagne, the New Year was brought in. Right after all the hoopla of wishing everyone a Happy New Year, the meal continued with cotecghino and lentils!!! Needless to say, even though I wasn’t in the least bit hungry for more food, I HAD to eat this traditional dish. The lentils, because they are shaped like small coins, symbolize money and everyone can benefit from a bit more of this…so lentils it was at 1 am!!!