Preparing to celebrate the New Year

While you still have the weekend to prepare, I’m allowing you enough time to enjoy New Year celebrations with some Italian flair.

First, you’ll need to dress for success. Prosperity, happiness, and virility in the coming year depend on wearing red undies. red undies Who knew?? So whether it’s Victoria’s Secret or Jockey, get some red ones–even if no one else knows you’re wearing them.

Food is a mainstay of all kinds of human celebration, and Italians have their own specialties associated with New Year’s Eve. Namely, lentils. Because they look (remotely, I’ll admit) like little coins, they are said to bring wealth in the coming year. And just for more financial success, eat those lentils with sausages that are sliced up into larger “coins”. How about a salad of dollar bills on the side? Just kidding!! Here’s a tasty recipe for your lentils and sausage. One tradition says to eat the lentils at midnight, one spoonful for eat tolling of the midnight bell. There is no midnight bell in my town, so I’ll just have to take my chances with the timing.

You’ve probably heard the expression “Out with the old, in with the new.” Traditionally in southern Italy, they’ve taken it to heart, and anything old and worn out was thrown out the window on New Year’s Eve. It has mostly died out now, but if you are walking around Naples that night, watch your head!

And while you are eating your lentils, wearing you red undies, you’ll likely be watching fireworks. Naples has one of the biggest fireworks displays, but they are popular throughout the country. Be careful, though. Illegal fireworks have been a problem (police seized more than 650,000 last year in late December) and injuries are not uncommon. Some cities have banned fireworks for various public safety reasons. You won’t have any trouble finding them in Naples, though. They’ll be welcoming 2013 with a bang, in fine Italian style.

"Fireworks in Naples", oil painting by Oswald Achenbach, 1875

“Fireworks in Naples”, oil painting by Oswald Achenbach, 1875

 

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4 thoughts on “Preparing to celebrate the New Year

  1. My mother grew up in Alabama and the southern tradition is black eyed peas, ham and turnip greens. To bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year! Didn’t know about red undies, but I happen to have a pair so I will ring in 2013 In style!!! Happy New Year!!!

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