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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Italy Series at ItalianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Italian holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 1, New Year’s Day.
Like in most Western countries, in Italy New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st.
It’s a much anticipated event and usually a big party is organized with friends and family to welcome the new year, all while drinking and eating in abundance. In this lesson I’ll talk about how Italians celebrate their New Year.
Now, before we go into more detail, we've got a question for you- Why do Italians want to eat as many lentils as possible on the first day of the year?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
New Year's Eve in Italy begins with the celebration of “the night of San Silvestro,” the last evening of the previous year.
Usually Italians will organize a party with friends and family, or go out to the local square, where special events take place.
For example, in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, a large straw puppet called Vecchione is built and burned at the stroke of midnight as a symbol of the year coming to an end. It’s destroyed with all its good and bad memories, just like the year coming to an end.
During New Year's Eve, people eat and drink a lot.
Many Italians like to wait up for the New Year and also watch "The Coming Year," a great pop-music concert that is broadcast live on national TV. Through this program, you can listen to good music and make sure you don’t miss the countdown to midnight, when a bottle of champagne is uncorked for a toast and the fireworks get started.
The next morning, almost all Italians sleep in then go directly to their parents’ house to enjoy a family lunch.
Each region has its own specialties, but no matter where you are in Italy the most important thing is to eat a rich and elaborate variety of dishes—for example, tortellini or lasagna for the first course and braised beef or sausage for the second. You have to sit at the table for almost the whole day to finish it all!
In Italy, it’s said that wearing red undergarments, possibly even some received as a gift from someone, brings good luck. This custom is actually very old, dating back to Roman times, when red was a symbol of prosperity.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know why the Italians want to eat lentils on the very first day of the year? It’s because Italians believe that for every lentil eaten, a person will get more money!
Well listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something new?
How do you celebrate the arrival of the New Year in your country?
Leave a comment telling us at ItalianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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ItalianPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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How do you celebrate the arrival of the New Year in your country?

Wednesday at 4:11 pm
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Ciao Joe DeFelice,

Thank you for posting. Grazie per il commento!
If you have questions, feel free to let us know.

A presto!
Ofelia
Team ItalianPod101.com

Joe DeFelice
Wednesday at 10:38 am
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Excellent Beginning

Tuesday at 10:04 am
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Hi Jasmine,

Thank you for sharing the English Chrsitmas traditions with us!
Please feel free to post more 😄
If you have questions, let us know.

Grazie,
Ofelia
Team ItalianPod101.com

Jasmine
Sunday at 8:41 pm
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Here in England,people usually start defrosting their turkey’s,or sometimes the day before christmas eve,then we cook them (usually on christmas day,sometimes on christmas eve to save time),it is traditional to have roast turkey,sage and onion stuffing,roast potatoes and vegetables like roasted parsnips or more commonly,roasted carrots. People will go to pubs,or christmas parties that are on ear them,or family and friends will get together and go somewhere nice for the day. It is traditional that at christmas,if someone is in a relationship,that they get a piece of mistletoe and kiss under it. People sit at the table with family or friends (more commonly,with family) and the food is served up by whoever is cooking,we all sit and eat at the table,we also wear christmas hats and pull christmas crackers,basically christmas crackers are sold around christmas time and two people pull either end of the cracker and whoever wins,gets the prize that is found inside of the cracker,this is usually where the christmas hats are found also. I could go on forever with English christmas traditions but I won’t otherwise I’d be writing a whole book about it. Hope this explained a lot.

ItalianPod101.com
Wednesday at 9:19 pm
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Hello Guilherme

Thank you for your comment and feedback.
We really appreciate it 😄
Let us know if you have questions regarding our lessons.

Elena

Team ItalianPod101.com

Guilherme
Saturday at 2:21 am
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Here in Brazil we do the same things as in Italy. This is because the italian and portuguese culture had an important influence through the history of my country, Brazil. Every New Year’s Day the families in Brazil gather around to have dinner and talk a lot.

Thanks for the oportunity to share with you a little of my culture too.

Congratulations for the excellent work, ItalianPod101.com!

Tuesday at 12:25 pm
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Hello Alfredo,

That is nice to know! 😄 One year from now, we expect to hear about your New Year’s celebration. 😁

Thanks for posting!
Erica
Team ItalianPod101.com

Alfredo
Friday at 3:28 pm
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Excellent info. As an Australian born Italian, I did not know this. Definitely will be adding this to my next NYD 2015/16 !