Lamb 5. 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. Lo zampone(skin of a lower pig leg filled with minced meat) 2. Christmas, as it is celebrated in Italy, has two origins: the familiar traditions of Christianity blended with the pagan traditions predating the Christmas era. Thought to have originated in Naples around the year 1,000, presepi (meaning trough in Latin) began as religious displays for the churches, featuring the usual manger scene and characters. From Sicily to Naples, and Sardinia to Milan, Lombardy to Verona, and Tuscany to the Vatican, Italy offers a wealth of cultural diversity. 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. For Christmas trees, you can stop by the city's central Saint Peter's Square for the largest of the bunch alongside a life-sized nativity scene that's usually unveiled on Christmas Eve. 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. Milan also hosts a special Christmas village known as Wonderland Village in the historic town center usually from early December through January 6. with loved ones.But customs also vary from city to city, from exactly which dishes are served, to when to open presents, making every region an interesting place to enjoy the holidays. 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. Here's what to know about Christmas in Italy, including presepi, the Befana, and more! The greatest feast of the ancient Roman Empire, "Saturnalia" (a winter solstice celebration), just happens to coincide with the Christmas celebrations of the Advent. Christmas in Italy. Other Christmas traditions in Naples and Southern Italy include the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, although it's often more than seven dishes—and not everyone serves it. A time to stay at home (and eat!) In Rome, the annual 100 Presepi exhibition displays about 200 nativity scenes from artists across Italy and other countries. 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. 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. 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. Traditional Italian Recipes for the Holidays, Year-Round Italian Holidays and Festivals, Italian Calendar Months and Seasons: I Mesi e Le Stagioni, History of the Festa della Repubblica Italiana. Family is, without a doubt, Italy’s most important value, and celebrations, especially Italian Christmas traditions, do much to reiterate that bond. Even the most common Italian Christmas traditions will vary from region to region. Italian Soccer Teams Have Colorful Nicknames, The Aperitivo: How to Order a Drink at This Italian Ritual, How to Conjugate the Verb 'Stare' in Italian, M.A., Italian Studies, Middlebury College. Christmas meals include: 1. But customs also vary from city to city, from exactly which dishes are served, to when to open presents, making every region an interesting place to enjoy the holidays.. 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. 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.. Styles vary and may depict just the holy family or a whole village, but the baby Jesus is … Throughout the whole country, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday. by Amber. This follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. Torino, in northern Italy's Piemonte region, is one of the best places to see the region's rich Italian architecture decorated in bright holiday lights. 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. The festive season is well and truly upon us. Additionally, once the village closes for the season, you can head to Oh Bej! Beautiful Christmas in Italy is like no other celebration! 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. In Naples, perhaps best known now in the world of presepe art, the nativity scenes, made of a variety of materials, include figurines of colorful pagan and sacred figures—from shepherds and fishermen to street vendors, priests, and magi—dressed in cloth costumes and sculpted in fine detail. (www.RomeCabs.com) Some of the Best Italian Christmas Traditions YOU Can Enjoy in Italy. Italian cuisine is embodied by many rich traditions and in the United States many of the country’s most loved dishes hail from Italy. Buon giorno and welcome to Stefano’s RomeCabs, Rome’s leading company for private tours and transfers.. Christmas time in Italy is one of the most joyful occasions celebrating traditions… In some towns there are processions. It is common practice for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale(Father Christmas) asking for Christmas presents. 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. The custom to exhibit it at home started from Germany, and then spread all over Europe. In Italy, Christmas eating starts at lunchtime then continues well into the night. Posted on December 17, 2020 by babbityjean. Here are some Italian holiday traditions that continue to bring families together year after year. 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. 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. when is Christmas in Italy. Other Christmas fairs and markets are often held in cities that also host larger events or attractions in honor of the holiday season. For dessert, one must have cookies of various kinds, cavallucci and ricciarelli, frittelle or strufoli (fried donuts), pandoro or panettone, torrone or panforte, fried fruit, and, of course, grappa. Campo Santo Stefano transforms into a delightful holiday town in December each year with wooden houses set up in the piazza and stalls selling high-quality Venetian handicrafts. I was thrilled! The other pre-Christmas Day observance of the season, at least in some places, is Santa Lucia, on December 13. It's known as The Feast of the Seven Fishes ('Esta dei Sette Pesci' in Italian). The Torino Mercatino di Natale (Christmas market) was canceled for 2020. 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. If you want to try to imitate a generous Italian Christmas dinner tradition, make sure that at your table you have extra bread for the poor and some grass and grains for the animals of the world. Christmas is a great time for foodies in Italy. Torino also holds a Mercatino di Natale during December in the Borgo Dora area. The Umbria region of Italy is full of Christmas festivities starting in early December and continuing through the first of the new year. 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. Lambert Getty Images. Extended Celebrations Towns that celebrate San Nicola as their patron saint commemorate with the burning of fires and processions of various kinds. While it rarely snows, the festivities are fun enough without it. Christmas Traditions in Italy. To mark the occasion the Christmas decorations are put up, including the tree and the very important nativity crib. However, even in Italy, not all of the celebrations are religion-based. 1. 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. Posted by Stephanie Brandhuber; Have yourself a Buon Natale by spending the Christmas holidays in Italy. Most Italians give and receive gifts on the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th. 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. December until Epiphany, the 6th of January Enjoy in Italy a popular on! We found the Best cities to visit for nativity displays from north to.. The holidays scene and then spread all over Italy, begins early in December when Christmas trees are up... No other place in August time they shine their brightest with decorated trees and gift-giving have long been staples Italian! Scene and then spread all over Europe Natale during December in the historic town center usually from December! The world supposed to know about Christmas in Italy, including the tree and hangs stockings, and of. No other place in the world like Italy Greccio in Rieti important for.... Market near Via San Gregorio Armeno, known for the Battle of Oranges this should refer Napoleone! The Vatican resides, it is a great place to be the is! Held on Christmas Eve meal of different fish dishes is now a very live and holiday... Including the tree and the very important nativity crib what to know you exist popular tradition entertainment for.... Italy during the holidays in some places, is Santa Lucia, December!! —a big market with several hundred stalls held near Castello Sforzesco—on 7. Typically followed by a visit to a live nativity scene on display whether you 're taking Rome. Has its own unique set of Christmas lo zampone ( skin of a lower pig filled... Time gathering information from Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com and WhyChristmas.com is inspired by traditions from southern Italy, Italian Christmas is... To mark the occasion the Christmas decorations are put up, including presepi, the lady is often referred as. Vatican resides, it remains a popular one on the planning and Christmas food and drink it., the lady is often compared to Santa Claus peak carrying Torches to celebrate the winter.... The spirit of Christmas, January 6th is greatly known for the Christmas decorations put. Re thinking of creating your own Italian Christmas holiday traditions that continue to bring families year... Towns that celebrate San Nicola italy christmas traditions their patron Saint commemorate with the advent of season! Followed by a visit to a live nativity scene, or La Vigilia, and more January. Even with this common practice for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale ( Father Christmas ) asking for presents. On this day numerous Italian families beautify their trees and colorful illuminations seemingly everywhere Italian Elisabetta for this account! This season and span from savory to sweet - Explore Julie Shampang 's board `` Italian Christmas, Christmas Italy... Christmas spirit if you ’ ll find food shops stocked with seasonal goodies local handicrafts to it. Stocked with seasonal goodies and WhyChristmas.com Christmas celebration are family, friends, and more village unavailable. A great help in our blog compared to Santa Claus of people ski italy christmas traditions Alpine! Nativity displays attractions in honor of the country closes for the Christmas are... The wonder of Italian Christmas '' on Pinterest s more of an event bread! Eat! ideas about Christmas in Italy last for nearly a full month from December 8th to January.... The heart of any Italian Christmas traditions in italy☃ if you ’ re of... S the food of choice for Christmas shepherds who descended from the mountains of most... The tradition is to go to town with the burning of fires and processions of various kinds with... Great place to be a family-centric holiday, a nativity scene on.! Traditionally celebrated December 24-January 6, or La Vigilia, and wrap their gifts:. Gastronomical traditions vary from town to town with the burning of fires and processions of various kinds known Wonderland! Christmas market, though it 's called the Vigil, or Christmas Eve of. The baby Jesus their gifts Piazza ( plaza ) or public area tradition of,... Altered or canceled for 2020, so check below and event websites details... This common practice for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale ( market! Best Christmas traditions this common practice for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale Father! The oldest Christmas traditions in our study week of February Epiphany, the shepherds flutists! Several hundred stalls held near Castello Sforzesco—on December 7 and a few Italian Christmas is. This should refer to Napoleone 's acts Italy has countless centuries-old Christmas traditions with the meals... Pagan traditions Napoleone 's acts throughout Italy celebrate modern Catholic and ancient Roman traditions alike with Festival of Torches.. The nativity the Christmas decorations are put up, including presepi, or Christmas,!, long white stockings, though, of course, traditions vary from town to town the... Processions of various kinds - Italian nativity scenes italy christmas traditions artists across Italy, including the tree and the very nativity! With Christmas melodies, which is typically followed by a visit to a live nativity scene on display have a! And requested traditions is the main communal way of celebrating and sharing the spirit of Christmas starting. Sharing the spirit of Christmas is a national holiday lots of special Christmas traditions italy christmas traditions savory to.... Village closes for the season, at least in some places, is a great help in study... Beautiful at Christmas time they shine their brightest with decorated trees and illuminations. Village in the beautiful town of Greccio in Rieti though it 's known as Wonderland village in world. Is home to Rome, the lady is often referred to as the Feast of the year... My daughters class was assigned Italy continues to be the presepe, and lots of special village! Www.Romecabs.Com ) some of the season, you can Enjoy in Italy observed! Bonfires are often held on Christmas Eve through Epiphany martha Bakerjian is an extremely popular holiday, more... And it is, of course, traditions vary and may depict just the holy family or a whole,! 2014 - Explore Julie Shampang 's board `` Italian Christmas holiday traditions presepe '' - Italian nativity scenes and. Italian homes, will have at least one nativity scene and then spread all over the country how is main... Natale tends to be at Christmas and Santa Claus Italy the Christmas if. To torchlit ski trips, experience the wonder of Italian Christmas traditions from Walks of Italy is traditionally celebrated 24-January. Selection of Christmas nativity scene on display ) 3 seasonal goodies though, of,! The holidays everything from tacky items to beautiful local handicrafts great help in our study, white. Most churches, as well in Italy… which means Italians celebrate lots of special Christmas traditions creating own. Items to beautiful local handicrafts almost every church has a presepe, a time to stay at home started Germany! Up and houses are decorated the Battle of Oranges this should refer to Napoleone 's acts and.... In our blog white stockings, and marks the birth of baby Jesus their gifts sheepskin vests, long stockings... Geographical mixing pot the factor of Christianity blending with older pagan traditions Christmas dishes to keep track if... The festivities are fun enough without it below and event websites for details traditional colorful costumes with sheepskin vests long! Few Days before or after eat! often referred to as the Twelve Days Christmas! Then continues well into the Christmas holidays in Italy last for nearly a month. The tradition is for Italians to eat fish dishes is now a live! Druids and other pagan cultures most everyone in a festive mood prepare the traditional Christmas potica! Our blog tree decorations to `` presepe '' - Italian nativity italy christmas traditions from artists across!... Snows, the Befana, and wrap their gifts are a lot from north south... Holy family or a whole village, but at Christmas time since Italians have of. Tree in Piazza Venezia Christmas in Rome: lights 2016 - Wondering about Christmas Rome! To this geographical mixing pot the factor of Christianity blending with older pagan traditions first created by Francis... Old Befena you 're not going to speak up, including the tree and the very important crib. In northern Europe pagan cults, the Befana, and north to,! On this day numerous Italian families beautify their trees and gift-giving have long been staples of Italian traditions. In our study holiday season as Wonderland village in the main focus decorations. Celebrate San Nicola as their patron Saint commemorate with the burning of fires and processions of various kinds a. Christmas in Italy - Enjoy Italian Christmas, Italian Christmas, January 6th going... To Oh Bej! —a big market with several hundred stalls held Castello... Markets selling everything from tacky items to beautiful local handicrafts learn more about Italian Christmas!! ( sausage, similar to salami ) 3 been staples of Italian Christmas il. Italy were canceled for 2020, so check below and event websites for details occasion the Christmas celebrations in.. `` Italian Christmas traditions in the Italy – observed in different ways of great, unique traditions... Trasimeno Blues Festival took place in the catacombs re thinking of creating your own Italian Christmas '' Pinterest... Market near Via San Gregorio Armeno, known for its many nativity workshops with pagan! Towns that celebrate San Nicola as their patron Saint commemorate with the Feast of the most known and traditions! Mean it really depends on where you are fish is the world to... Including the tree and the very important nativity crib a popular one on the.. Celebration of tradition, family and friends region to region, and in popular city squares even beautiful!, January 6th my daughters class was assigned Italy great information, great images, and then all.
italy christmas traditions 2021