Many celebrate 12 days – from Christmas Eve on December 24 until Epiphany on January 6 – which also coincides with the winter solstice festival of previous centuries. After Christmas Eve, which is almost as important as Christmas, and Christmas Day, of course, with gift-opening and long lunches and gatherings, Italians celebrate Santo Stefano, on December 26. The Christmas celebrations in Italy last for nearly a full month from December 8th to January 6th. when is Christmas in Italy. Fish is the food of choice for Christmas eve. We thank Italian Elisabetta for this detailed account of Christmas traditions in Italy. In Rome, the annual 100 Presepi exhibition displays about 200 nativity scenes from artists across Italy and other countries. Being of Italian descent I was excited to share with my daughter and her classmates a few Italian Christmas holiday traditions. And in many places, including Naples, nativity scenes are year-round attractions, surrounded by a whole economy of production, from workshops to stores. Saint Peter's Square hosts the popular midnight mass given by the pope inside Saint Peter's Basilica, and those in the square get to see it live on a big-screen TV. The Piazza Navona Christmas market was canceled for 2020. Posted by Stephanie Brandhuber; Have yourself a Buon Natale by spending the Christmas holidays in Italy. Italians celebrate the religious feast of the Epiphany, or the more popular folklore version of La Befana, on 6 January which falls on a Wednesday in 2021. ☃christmas traditions in italy☃ if you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? The 2020 Verona Christmas market was canceled. Family is, without a doubt, Italy’s most important value, and celebrations, especially Italian Christmas traditions, do much to reiterate that bond. Christmas in Italy is also a time of traditions, with customs varying from region to region, particularly in relation to festive Italian food, with universal favourites including sweet Christmas breads or cakes such as panettone and pandoro.However, unlike northern Europe and the US, the main Christmas meal in Italy is based around fish - multiple courses of it - on Christmas Eve. Italians truly feel the atmosphere since end days of November month, but the Christmas time formally starts on 8th December, the Day of Spotless Beginning. For 2020, the Trasimeno Blues Festival took place in August. We like to prepare certain things every year to take us back to the flavors and aromas of childhood, youth and adulthood, and every year they still surprise us. Especially the children look forward to the start of the Christmas season in December when Christmas trees are put up and houses are decorated. If you're traveling to Italy during this festive season, you're certain to run into a variety of special events, celebrations, and holiday markets throughout the country. Please note some events have been altered or canceled for 2020, so check below and event websites for details. Christmas is a major holiday in Italy… which means Italians celebrate lots of great, unique Christmas traditions! Offices and schools are officially closed. Christmas Traditions in Italy. Some, though, date the beginning of the season at the Immaculate Conception, on December 8, while others still start the observance on December 6 with the celebration of San Nicola, or St. Nicholas, the patron saint of mariners and the weak, from whom the tradition of St. Nicholas and Babbo Natale originates. There's also regional food, drink, and music available throughout the month, and a number of special events that will take place during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Turkey 4. My daughters class was assigned Italy. The 12th day of Christmas is when the three Wise Men gave Baby Jesus their gifts. One of the most visually spectacular Italian Christmas traditions is the Fiaccole di Natale, a torchlight procession on Christmas Eve. In Città di Castello, you can celebrate Christmas Eve on the Tiber River, where a group of canoeists dressed as Father Christmas makes their way to the bridge at Porta San Florido in light-covered canoes. Epiphany and La Befana The festivities in Italy continue to run from Christmas Eve through to the Epiphany on the 6th January, which is when Christmas presents are traditionally handed out. The event features a market, an ice-skating rink, and entertainment. For many Italian-American families a big Christmas Eve meal of different fish dishes is now a very popular tradition! In southern Italy, seafood is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve and is related to the Catholic tradition of avoiding meat on the eve of certain holidays. Add to this geographical mixing pot the factor of Christianity blending with older pagan traditions. Italian traditions for Christmas. In most places, it's enough to gather around a table for a dinner, some wine, and a game of cards or tombola (by the way, there is no such thing as the "urn of fate" at Christmas). After all, gift-giving predates modern consumerism by millennia, and Italian shops and city centers have long traditions of decorating and making things for Christmas—even when things were more modest. In some towns in Sicily fires are burned in the squares on Christmas Eve to prepare for Jesus's arrival, and people gather to share gifts. The Trentino-Alto Adige Region in northern Italy is one of the best regions for Christmas markets, largely due to its close proximity to Germany, where the tradition originates. Why Do Italians Consider Friday the 17th Unlucky? There is no traditional meal eaten by Italians on Christmas Day – the food usually consists of a grand meat dish accompanied by plenty of snacks. Italian Christmas Traditions. In former times, the shepherds and flutists were the shepherds who descended from the mountains in order to entertain people with Christmas melodies. To mark the occasion the Christmas decorations are put up, including the tree and the very important nativity crib. Starting with the Advent calendar , a tradition that Loacker brings to the US with its reusable reindeer advent calendar, made of felt and that can be filled with delicious individually wrapped Loacker Minis . Nov 25, 2014 - Explore Julie Shampang's board "Italian Christmas" on Pinterest. On this day numerous Italian families beautify … The tradition of presepi, or Christmas cribs, is widespread in Italy. The weather has begun to change, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange and people around the world are slowly getting into the Christmas spirit! See more ideas about italian christmas, christmas in italy, italian christmas traditions. (www.RomeCabs.com) Some of the Best Italian Christmas Traditions YOU Can Enjoy in Italy. Celebrating Christmas for 12 days follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia—a winter solstice festival—and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. For Christmas Day the menu runs regionally, and with enormous diversity, with traditional dishes ranging from tortellini or natalini in brodo (or the local version of tortellini) to lasagna (or both); from baccalà (cod) to anguilla (eel), and from cappone (capon) to bollito (boiled meats) to abbacchio (lamb). There are a lot of dishes to keep track of if you’re thinking of creating your own Italian Christmas menu. When we study Christmas around the world, Italy is one of the unique countries we look at: shepherd bagpipers, elaborate Nativity scenes, and a kind witch that flies on a broom.The traditions of Christmas in Italy are based heavily on the religion of Christianity (Catholicism), and on the Italian holiday calendar. A day ritualized for more family gatherings and a continuation of Christmas, it commemorates this important saint, martyr, and messenger in the dissemination of Christianity. Italian traditions for Christmas. Various cities throughout Italy celebrate modern Catholic and ancient Roman traditions alike with Festival of Torches events. Throughout the market season, Babbo Natale will make appearances for picture-taking opportunities and there will be a life-size nativity scene set up in the piazza later in December. Festivities last from about the 6th of December until Epiphany, the 6th of January. The city of Ivrea is greatly known for the Battle of Oranges this should refer to Napoleone 's acts. Zampognari – a traditional Christmas attribute in Italy Christmas in many cities of Italy is celebrated to the sounds of zampognari (bagpipes from goatskin) and caramella (wooden flute). From festive feasts to torchlit ski trips, experience the wonder of Italian Christmas traditions this holiday season. Posted on 20 November 2019 in Italy. On this day numerous Italian families beautify their trees and home, bake cookies, and wrap their gifts. The Wonderland Village and Oh Bej! Traditions that live and come back to life preparing for the year’s most beautiful celebration, and they do so by way of rituals and customs that are lost in the mists of time. Other Christmas fairs and markets are often held in cities that also host larger events or attractions in honor of the holiday season. Whether you're taking a Rome tour or skiing in the Italian Alps, here are 8 Christmas traditions from all across Italy! In the vein of the birth of Christ, one of the most beautiful celebrations of Christmas in Italy comes in the form of presepi, traditional artisanal nativity scenes that some communities have elevated to an art form, making them the cornerstone of their folklore and economy. Posted on December 17, 2020 by babbityjean. Christmas is inspired by traditions from the Romans, Celtics, Norse, Druids and other pagan cultures. The festive season is well and truly upon us. Apr 14, 2016 - Wondering about Christmas traditions in Italy? Indeed, in cities and towns and at tables all over Italy, beginning weeks before Christmas and lasting till the Epiphany, century-old folklore and custom spill from the street into the homes and vice versa to make this season of the year an all-around celebration of the heart and the senses. Many of them travel from the mountains of the Abruzzo region to play outside churches and in popular city squares. During this dazzling yet bizarre event, hundreds of people ski down an Alpine peak carrying torches to celebrate the winter season. Extended Celebrations It's known as The Feast of the Seven Fishes ('Esta dei Sette Pesci' in Italian). At the heart of any Italian Christmas celebration are family, friends, and lots of food. This time is often referred to as the Twelve Days of Christmas. Christmas is inspired by traditions from the Romans, Celtics, Norse, Druids and other pagan cultures. Naples also holds a December Christmas market near Via San Gregorio Armeno, known for its many nativity workshops. The tree is topped by a star that can be seen for nearly 31 miles (50 kilometers), which is turned on every year on December 7, the evening before the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Festival of Nemoralia, commonly known as the Festival of Torches, was celebrated by ancient Romans in honor of Diana, goddess of the countryside, hunt, and moon, but was later adopted by Catholics as The Feast of the Assumption. In Italy, Christmas eating starts at lunchtime then continues well into the night. The block of wood is chosen carefully and is usually the piece where the roots of the tree fuse into the trunk, representing the union of the earth and the sky, as well as the unity of the family. We found The Best Christmas Traditions from Walks of Italy to be a great help in our study. Christmas is a great time for foodies in Italy. In Italy, this is the meal that breaks the Christmas Eve fast and it isn’t necessarily a stand-alone event as it is stateside. On Christmas Eve, many Italian-American families celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a meal consisting of seven different types of seafood or one or two seafood varieties prepared in seven ways. Milan also hosts a special Christmas village known as Wonderland Village in the historic town center usually from early December through January 6. Slovenes prepare the traditional Christmas bread potica, bûche de Noël in France, panettone in Italy, and elaborate tarts and cakes. Traditional Italian Christmas food isn’t just a meal — it’s more of an event. But communal meeting points of celebration remain important for everyone. Soon, however, they expanded in focus as slices of life and broadened to the greater culture of the city, spreading into homes and giving birth to whole artisanal schools and traditions. To kick off this series of crafts that I did with the kids, the teacher provided an introduction to Italy that included general information, geography, and vocabulary. They all shared one celebration that happened to fall around Christmas time—the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For the whole month of December you’ll find food shops stocked with seasonal goodies. Here are some facts about Italian Christmas traditions, celebrations and customs. Verona, the city of "Romeo and Juliet," is decorated with hundreds of lights throughout the month of December and into early January each year. Lo zampone(skin of a lower pig leg filled with minced meat) 2. The custom to exhibit it at home started from Germany, and then spread all over Europe. For the Christmas market, some vendors dress in traditional shepherd costumes as well. The very roots of our modern Christmas belong in Italy.Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity, was decreed by Emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 to take place on December 25 th of each year. Christmas in Italy: The Befana Tradition According to Italian traditions, Befana is an old woman who gives presents throughout the country on the night of January 5, also known as the Epiphany Eve. Christmas lends itself particularly to the display of the richness of local and regional traditions that, because of Italy's particular history, are deeply rooted, long cultivated, and reverently taught and observed, providing a deep and colorful fabric of continuity and communality. Included in this ‘no meat’ holiday eve is Christmas eve. Christmas Food. 1. https://www.tripsavvy.com/christmas-traditions-things-to-do-italy-4176880 Italian Christmas Traditions to Enjoy in Italy Date 2017.12.03 by romecabs in Festivals and Holidays. The feast seems to have its root in southern Italy and was bought over to the USA by Italian immigrants in … When they get out of their canoes after going under a cradle suspended from the bridge, each Father Christmas canoeist will give small presents to the children gathered there. This website has great information, great images, and hosts this video: We also spent time gathering information from Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com and WhyChristmas.com. LA BEFANA Although Babo Natale (Father Christmas) and giving presents on Christmas are becoming more common, the main day for gift giving is the Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas when the three wise men gave Baby Jesus their gifts. Il cotechino(sausage, similar to salami) 3. It’s the food we remember, the ones from our family traditions. The eating of sweets and chocolates has become popular worldwide, and sweeter Christmas delicacies include the German stollen, marzipan cake or … Christmas, as it is celebrated in Italy, has two origins: the familiar traditions of Christianity blended with the pagan traditions predating the Christmas era. Traditions. My warmest childhood memories are of our Christmas Eve parties when the whole family (around 35 of us) would celebrate the holiday together with an evening of food, gift exchange, games, and dancing. It begins with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is a national holiday. Lore has it that the Befana, an old witch-looking lady on a broom with a pointy hat and long skirt, was invited by the Magi to help them take gifts to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. The greatest feast of the ancient Roman Empire, "Saturnalia" (a winter solstice celebration), just happens to coincide with the Christmas celebrations of the Advent. For Christmas Eve, for those who do not fast, the main tradition, of course, is fish, though in Piemonte and other mountainous places, people who want to observe some kind of dietary sacrifice have a vegetarian Christmas Eve. Across Italy, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday, a time to stay at home (and eat!) Most churches, as well as other public areas and many Italian homes, will have at least one nativity scene on display. Of course, gathering to eat is the main communal way of celebrating and sharing the spirit of Christmas. Christmas trees and gift-giving have long been staples of Italian Christmas, il Natale. Across Italy, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday, a time to stay at home (and eat!) In Italy the Christmas season lasts for a few weeks up until Epiphany. Christmas-related celebrations in Italy traditionally start on the 8th December and conclude on … In Italy, presents are brought by a friendly old witch named La Befana, who arrives the night of January 5 to fill children's stockings. Here are some Italian holiday traditions that continue to bring families together year after year. Published on December 9, 2014 + Share. A […] Santa has begun to make an appearance in recent years, but there are several unique Christmas traditions in Italy that stretch back centuries and are still celebrated today. In Northern Europe pagan cults, the fir was venerated as a long life symbol. According to tradition, Santa Lucia was a martyr who took food to persecuted Christians held in the catacombs. Christmas in Italy is celebrated over several weeks as Italians celebrate from early December, depending on the region, until the day of Epiphany, on the 6th of January. Christmas traditions include a variety of customs, religious practices, rituals, and folklore associated with the celebration of Christmas.Many of these traditions vary by country or region, while others are universal and practiced in a virtually ubiquitous manner across the world.. Christmas in Italy is an extremely popular holiday, and is celebrated all over the country. Here’s a gourmet tour through regional holiday recipes around Italy. This follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. Storied, much celebrated and loved, particularly by children (bad children get coal, good ones get gifts, onions, and chocolates)—some families even observe it as the main gift-giving holiday—the Befana brings the Italian holiday season to a festive close, sweeping away any remnants of the old year and leaving good omens for the next. Many specialties are traditional of this season and span from savory to sweet. And although culinary traditions are just as subject to change as any other aspect of culture, at Christmas the table boasts typical regional dishes, prepared just the way Nonna used to make. Most of the lights across the city turn on after 8 December (the feast of the Immaculate conception) but be sure to check out some of the other Christmas traditions in Italy.You can find a pretty light display in Piazza Venezia with a big Christmas tree and nativity scene lit up and standing proud in the centre. Posted on December 17, 2020 by babbityjean. ♡ Writers Team Other large trees can be found at the Piazza Venezia and next to the Colosseum, both of which provide excellent photo opportunities for your holiday trip abroad. Family is, without a doubt, Italy’s most important value, and celebrations, especially Italian Christmas traditions, do much to reiterate that bond. Christmas Food and Traditions in Italy. The Naples Christmas market was canceled for 2020. with loved ones. For most Italians, the celebration of the Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve, or shortly before, and runs until the Epiphany—the traditional Twelfthtide. Italian Christmas Traditions. Bagpipe and flute players, zampognari and pifferai, are a part of Christmas celebrations in Rome, Naples, and southern Italy as well. To mark the occasion the Christmas decorations are put up, including the tree and the very important nativity crib. Being of Italian descent I was excited to share with my daughter and her classmates a few Italian Christmas holiday traditions. From Sicily to Naples, and Sardinia to Milan, Lombardy to Verona, and Tuscany to the Vatican, Italy offers a wealth of cultural diversity. The presepe is the tradition of Christmas nativity scene displays, found in most cities in Italy. In addition, the city of Verona holds a huge German-style Christmas market in Piazza del Signori with wooden stalls selling handicrafts, decorations, regional foods, and German specialties, which usually starts in late November and runs through December 26. In some towns there are processions. For 2020, the midnight mass was rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. This tradition originates from Tuscany in Italy when a huge log is set on fire at Christmas and left burning throughout the Christmas season. There, it's called The Vigil, or La Vigilia, and marks the birth of baby Jesus at midnight. Christmas Traditions in the Italy – observed in different ways Italians truly feel the atmosphere since end days of November month, but the Christmas time formally starts on 8th December, the Day of Spotless Beginning. Christmas Season Getaways in the Pacific Northwest, Celebrate Christmas in Seattle: Events, Lights, and Attractions, The Tradition of Presepi or Nativity Scenes in Italy, Top 9 Spots for Christmas Cheer in Pittsburgh, An Alaska Christmas: Festivals and Events, How to Celebrate December in Rome, Italy's Capital City, Christmas in New Mexico: Family Activities and Lights Displays, December Events and Festivals in Milan, Italy, 18 Places to Spend Your Christmas Vacation With Kids, Things to Do for Christmas in Northern Virginia, Celebrate the Holiday Season in Venice, Italy, This December, Guide to Christmas in Seattle: Festivals, Events, Things to Do, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Vacation in Europe, Guide to Christmas in Italy: Markets, Traditions, and Events. At Christmas, in places such as Naples and Bologna but also small towns throughout Umbria and Abruzzo that have a presepe tradition, nativity scenes both small and life-size fill squares, churches, and many private homes, opened to visitors for the occasion. Christmas traditions in Italy, Christmas tree Its origins are linked to numerous legends, some of them to pagan cults, others to christian ones. From a giant Christmas tree atop a mountain to a unique nativity scene powered by the sun, this gorgeous part of the country makes an excellent destination for your holiday travels. Italians have the right idea by abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve. The other pre-Christmas Day observance of the season, at least in some places, is Santa Lucia, on December 13. Here, then, is a selection of Christmas dishes to get everyone in a festive mood. In the past Catholic Italians used to fast on Christmas Eve and wait until the clock stroke midnight to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. Oh Bej! The Torino Mercatino di Natale (Christmas market) was canceled for 2020. Most everyone in Italy decorates a tree and hangs stockings, though, of course, traditions vary and morph. In ancient times, ‘Saturnalia’ was celebrated between the 17th of December and the 24th of December, and was the pagan festival in honor of the Roman God, Saturn. Additionally, at noon on Christmas Day, the pope gives his Christmas message, typically from the window of his apartment overlooking the square, where a large tree and nativity scene are erected before Christmas. Here's what to know about Christmas in Italy, including presepi, the Befana, and more! Italian cuisine is embodied by many rich traditions and in the United States many of the country’s most loved dishes hail from Italy. 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