When I was a little girl, my Gramma Viggiano would babysit on New Year's Eve for my sisters and me.  In anticipation of the "ball dropping" in Times Square, we would wait by the front door with an assortment of pots and pans.  At the stroke of midnight we would run outside and clanging pot lids as symbols, yell  HAP-PY New Year.

This was a tradition we associated with dad's mom.  What I didn't know until recently (last night to be exact) was that banging pots at midnight was probably gramma's take on a childhood tradition of her own.  In Italy, apparently, in a symbolic gesture of letting go of the past, Italians will throw old clothes and pots and pans - out the window!  Banging pots on the front lawn was gramma's sweet variation.

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