It is with a sigh, empty pockets and a worried frown here in Italy that we say goodbye to 2013, a year when the economic crisis bit deeper than ever before, and the shambles of our political scene gave more reason for despair than hope. But forward we look, and there's nothing like the fresh start of the new year to breathe new enthusiasm and optimism into life ... with a little help from our age-old traditions, because there's always some good in there!
To bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new, we gave our family and friends a gift prepared according to traditional Italian recipes:
- chilis for good luck
- lentils for prosperity
- extra virgin olive oil - the liquid gold of our nutrition
So for some Italian-style buona fortuna for 2014, have yourself a hot bowl of lentil soup tomorrow, sprinkled with chili flakes and drizzled with oil. And for an extra dose of good luck, make sure to wear brand new red underwear on January 1st, as the Italian tradition dictates. Bizarre, I know - I've never figured out where that came from. Truth is, I may not follow closely that tradition, but I am making myself something new and red, though warm and wooly, to wear on the first of the year.
What are your new year traditions, national or familial?
A very happy New Year!