Many tourists who visit Italy at Christmas time certainly wonder why all lingerie shops’ windows display dozens of red undergarments in all shapes, styles and sizes, for men and women. From boxer shorts to briefs, from lace trimmed thongs to sexy G-strings. All rigorously fire red.
There is a good reason.
From the North to the South of the Boot all Italians firmly believe that to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve will bring good luck for the coming year.
The tradition requires that the red undies one wears on New Year’s Eve must be new and a gift, so they are a typical Christmas present. My mother, my grandmother and I always found red panties under the Christmas tree, and every year my grandma complained that hers were the dullest of all. She justly protested that she didn’t understand why grandmas were supposed to wear such dreary underwear.
Often at New Year’s Eve parties, after a few (or many) glasses of spumante, guests are loudly required to prove they respected the tradition. The least shy (or the drunkest) of them don’t hesitate to perform sort of amateurish strip-tease for the amusement of all the others.
The greatest success I remember was once a man, a friend of mine, who proudly exhibited some hot red briefs with a big black panther in strategic position. I swear I didn’t give them to him.
Please share with us if there is a special tradition in your country to celebrate New Year’s Eve.