It was a Christmas season and I was walking around Palermo, an Italian city.

The historic city appeared in the colored lights, the illuminated streets, squares (piazza), the shops and restaurants in Christmas theme as well. I noticed that all the undergarment shops were also in the ‘Theme Red’.new yearAt first, I thought that it may be because of the Christmas they have decorated their shops in a popular red color. But after listening to the words of my Italian friend Josephine, I got to know that they have some tradition about these red colored undergarments. She detailed me about that practice.

Italian people believe that wearing red underwear or red undergarments on the New year night will bring good luck and prosperity in one’s lives. As red is the symbol of love, happiness, passion, and sex.

According to the legend, the woman who wears red undergarments in the New Year night will find good luck in love in the upcoming year and also attract wealthy men or find passion in their present relationships. So, prior to the New Year, you will see many shops displaying red underwear and red lingerie in their storefront windows.

And finally, she gave me a free advice to wear red undergarments on the New Year eve to make my married life more lovely in the upcoming year.

It was a new piece of information for me and thus I became more curious to know about this tradition. Somehow Newton’s third law of Motion, (For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.) flashed in my memory as I got to know about the opposing factors of this tradition. Some parents won’t allow teenagers to wear red undergarments or underwear as they believe that red is the color or symbol of the devil, blood and evil forces and negative energy.

Many countries have different traditions to welcome New Year. In Spain, people used to wear new clothes and gather for prayers. The Spanish people believe that prayers will drive away the evil spirits and devils and thus the New Year will be blessed with positive energy and thoughts.

In Brazil, people used to wear white color clothes during the New Year eve. They used to worship the Goddess of Water, Lemanjá, by giving her gifts and flowers. They believe that the Goddess will bring good luck and prosperity in the New year.

The Chinese used to gift money in red colored envelops during the New Year. They consider red as the color of luck, success and wealth. Also, there is a mythological story of a giant beast ‘Nian’ behind this tradition. The story states that Nian was a horrible creature that used to attack people. However once they found out the beast was scared of the color red, it was defeated using that trick and then for them the red color became the symbol of good luck. So Chinese people believe that red color will drive away all the evil forces and bring good luck in their lives.


Ammu Andrews