At The End Of The Year | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

The end of the year marks a passage of time and the hope for new experiences, new love, new peace and new expectations. Whether it is celebrated on December 31st or not, people worldwide do celebrate it, and in much different ways. I remember how we celebrated it in Italy, long time ago. It was colorful, fun and very dangerous.

As midnight struck, heavy fireworks started from every windows and balconies. Kids played with the less dangerous fireworks and adults played with heavy ones, often losing parts of their body with it. Loudest and powerful fireworks lasted for more than an hour and during that time, it was customary to throw everything old and no longer wanted out of windows.
It was not advised to come home from parties before 5:00 am, that’s when people finally quieted down. This practice is now prohibited by law, but for some people is hard to desist from this custom.

Before the Southern Italians went absolutely crazy with fireworks and throwing things out of the windows, they went totally crazy with food. They sat down at dinner table around 6:00-7:00 pm surrounded by many people, usually family, with the intentions of eating 13 courses, one for each month of the year passing and an extra one as a good wish for the new year. The 13th course was a plate of cooked lentil eaten soon after midnight. Lentils represent money, more lentils we eat, more money we will have…. and everyone hopes…..
Eating lentils is still a custom of today.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

 

No matter what color Italians like, at the end of the year, every woman from North to South wears a red pair of underwear to wish for a new love or to keep the one they have. That’s is something I still do today.

(Photo above: https://www.zappos.com/p/b-temptd-lace-kiss-thong-haute-red/product/8343688/color/401264)

The last and the first day of the year are two days equally respected and celebrated in Italy. Italians never pay bills on Jan.1st even if they expire on that day.  We believe that whatever we do on the first day of the year, it will repeat itself all year round. Laugh, make love, travel, eat in company of people, cook, create art, visit museums, go to the beach, start writing a book, play music, whatever we do, must be a fun activity that we want repeated again and again throughout the year.

(Photo above:
http://nonciclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Trenino_di_capodanno.jpg)

 

Those who decide to go out at the end of the year, willing to pay a high price for dinner and dance, after midnight, will end up in a single file, making a train with people, often strangers, rolling through tables and going around the dancing hall, at the tune of Brazilian music. I never understood why Brazilian music became the brand of celebration for the end of the year. The best part of going out at the end of the year is that most everyone waits until 5:00 am to get warm croissants, freshly baked and just out of the baker’s oven. They go so well with a cup of cappuccino or a double espresso. The aroma of a fresh croissant is a prelude that something sweet will happen in the new year…..and so everyone hopes….
True or not, it is good to have hopes and beliefs. I wish you a splendid 2018, all the way through and celebrate what you want more of.  Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, my native land, it is my intention to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. I want to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism. Through stories of local customs, art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, I want them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out my books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ralph
    Jan 01, 2018 @ 21:51:30

    I really did enjoy reading about the Italian traditions in this post of yours Valentina. Happy New Year and have a great 2018 🙂 ❤

    Like

    Reply

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