How to Celebrate an Italian New Year’s Eve

italian new year's fireworks

Loud fireworks are a part of any fun Italian New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Italians have a long and colorful history, so it fits that they have many long-established and exciting holiday traditions as well. The Italian New Year’s celebrations are especially fun and inviting, so Giolitti Deli wants to make sure that our guests know of the best Italian ways to celebrate the New Year. Read on for some of the best Italian traditions, and how you can observe them with your loved ones this year. 


This may be everyone’s favorite way to welcome in the New Year, but Italians have been doing it for quite a long time. Fireworks were originally used to ward off evil spirits with a loud noise. Even the loud pops of spumante and prosecco bottles were initially incorporated into celebrations to keep those spirits at bay!

Celebrate the “Lancio dei Cocci”

This original tradition was more popular in the past, but it’s worth noting. Lancio dei cocci means to “launch shards,” which means that people will throw old dishware out the window at the stroke of midnight. Bad feelings, spirits, and bad luck are smashed symbolically in this cathartic Italian New Year’s practice. 

Kissing Under the Mistletoe

In Italy, kissing under the mistletoe is more often a New Year’s tradition. Kissing under the mistletoe is thought to enhance your chances of finding love in the new year. 

What Not to Eat 

As with every holiday, Italian’s are very particular about what should be eaten. Avoid seafood, especially lobster, on New Year’s, as the lobster moves backward and can symbolize the same for you. Avoid chicken as well, or most winged fowl, or your luck will fly away!

Eat Lentils at Midnight

There isn’t a consensus as to why it is considered lucky to eat lentils on an Italian New Year’s Eve, but it is often believed that their resemblance to gold coins is why. If you eat lentils with pork, meat considered lucky, you will prepare yourself to gain lots of wealth in the new year. 

Play Tombola

A fun way to ring in the new year with friends or family is to play tombola, a game similar to bingo. The popularity of this game harkens back to the 18th century when it was declared there would be no gambling during the Christmas season. To remedy this, Neapolitans invented a game of chance they could play at home!

Leave the Doors and Windows Open

After you have scared off evil spirits, it is important to welcome in the good for the new year. Keeping a door or window open to the good spirits is an excellent way to finish your Italian New Year’s celebrations.

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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