Felice Anno Nuovo (Happy New Year)

Felice Anno Nuovo (Happy New Year)

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

A Happy New Year to all and like people everywhere there are some specific things that Italians do. Eating is of course high on the list for any Italian and  there are specific foods that are traditional for Capodanno. We all wish for good luck in the New Year – hope springs eternal than it will better than the one that we just muddled through – so the traditional Italian foods represent good fortune to come. Lentils do have a faint resemblance to coins if you stare at them close enough and long enough so they are one of the foods. They are usually paired with sausage (cotechino is a favorite) which when sliced resembles – you surely can guess – coins.

Can’t have too many of those good luck symbols. There is another less known custom for Capodanno. When I was in Rome for the month of December my swiss friend said “ you’re not going to believe this but look for all of the stores to be selling red underwear for New Year’s”. red-underwear Well I was indeed astounded.  Who knew that practically every store that sold almost anything had red panties or briefs in their windows sometimes with Felice Capodanno written across the butt. How this came about is anybody’s guess. Of course the Chinese famously associate the color red with good fortune and perhaps Marco Polo came back with a yen for rosy bottoms. Who knows. In any case it turns out that this is not limited to Italy, the Spaniards go for the same, uh, interesting custom. Supposedly undies are symbolic of prosperity (but of course) as well as love and fertility.

Well, maybe photos can best illustrate the possibilities.

In any case I hope that you are all inspired to have and do good things in the year ahead. Surely it will be a beauty.

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