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6 Italian New Year’s Eve Traditions You Should Try

New year’s traditions are quite varied worldwide, and nowhere is this more obvious than in Italy. That may be because most Italians are pretty superstitious, so quirky traditions form over time in the country. Italy has some of the world’s most fascinating New Year’s Eve traditions. From well-known traditions, such as kissing under the mistletoe, to weird and wonderful traditions, Italy’s traditions are varied. Many of these traditions are interesting enough to try, even if you’re not Italian. And to this end, we put together a list of 6 Italian New Year’s Eve traditions you should try.

1. Lentils and grapes

First up on the list of Italian New Year’s Eve traditions you should try is eating lentils and grapes. In this tradition, the lentils represent longevity because they’re long-lasting. Additionally, because they look like golden coins, they also represent prosperity. And when midnight strikes, you should eat 12 grapes, one for each month, to bring luck. That is a reasonably simple tradition to bring you good fortune in the upcoming year. And why not give it a try? Who knows, maybe it will bring you luck in the coming year. However, if you want to enjoy the night more, consider getting Italian champagne to accompany the traditions you try. After all, we can’t think of a better drink to enjoy while welcoming the new year.

platter full of grapes
Eating lentils and grapes will bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year.

2. Share a pomegranate with your partner

If you’re welcoming the new year with your partner, consider sharing a pomegranate with them. In Italy, pomegranates symbolize loyalty and fertility, and sharing one with your partner on New Year’s Eve will bless you both in the upcoming year. While it’s essentially the same tradition as the lentils and grapes, it’s a good excuse to share a moment with someone you care for. And in the time of the year when holiday blues are quite common, having someone to spend time with is essential. Of course, when it comes to holiday depression, it’s important to remember to try to take it easy if possible. At this time, stress, addiction, and depression can grip you easily. So, ensure you take care of yourself and those you care about during this time of the year. After all, companionship is the best way to keep the blues away.

3. Kiss under the mistletoe

Kissing under the mistletoe is a quintessential Christmas and New Year’s Eve tradition. In Italian tradition, the mistletoe symbolizes love and protection, so the tradition is supposed to bring couples closer together. The mistletoe (and kiss) drive away evil spirits trying to get in between the two lovers. And while this tradition is present in other countries, most people speculate that it started in Italy. So, if you’re sharing New Year’s Eve with your partner, consider putting up a mistletoe. More love and protection are never bad, and it’s an adorable tradition.

close-up of mistletoe
Mistletoe symbolizes love and protection in Italian New Year’s Eve traditions.

4. Pay attention to the first person you meet on the street after midnight

Next up on the list of Italian New Year’s Eve traditions, you should try a rather ancient tradition. One of the oldest traditions in Italy is the belief that you can tell whether the new year will be good or unlucky based on the first person you meet on the street after midnight. The upcoming year will be blessed with good luck if you run into an older adult or a hunchback. However, the coming year will be unlucky if you run into a doctor, priest, or baby. If you have the chance, we recommend visiting Italy this winter and trying this tradition out while mingling with the locals. After all, if you’re going to try Italian traditions, why not see what the authentic Italian atmosphere is like? Besides, New Year’s Eve is the time when Italy is at its most beautiful.

5. Throw old and useless things out of the window

This next one is a rather eccentric tradition that remains in larger Italian cities. Mainly in Naples and Rome, some people will throw old things out of their windows, although most items are pottery, as part of a tradition. This tradition symbolizes letting go of useless things and getting rid of evil as we move into the new year. That allows people to head into the new year ready for a fresh start, unburdened. All in all, it’s a quaint tradition worth giving a shot at. However, ensure no one’s in the way before you throw things out the window. Additionally, Bright Futures Treatment Center experts note that symbolic traditions can help you clear your mind during the holidays. So, maybe there is something to this tradition of getting rid of evil going into the new year?

Close-up of a crockery set
Throwing pottery out of the window symbolizes letting off useless things and getting rid of evil.

6. The big New Year’s Eve dinner

Italians hold that no New Year’s Eve is complete without a big dinner being held. These dinners include courses of traditional Italian dishes such as gelatinous pork sausage. All in all, treating yourself to a nice meal is an excellent idea. However, if you’re worried about it, it might throw the combination of diet and exercise off for a while. But celebrating New Year’s Eve should allow you a little leeway regarding fitness.

6 Italian New Year’s Eve traditions you should try – closing thoughts

Italy has quite a few beautiful New Year’s Eve traditions, most of which revolve around blessing the coming year with luck. These traditions make for quaint moments that should be shared with family. All that matters is that we welcome the new year with happiness. We hope you found this list of 6 Italian New Year’s Eve traditions you should try interesting, and we wish you a good day.