Celebrate Christmas Like an Italian

Dec 01, 2021 436

BY: Silvia Donati

Christmas lights on city streets, trees and bagpipes in the piazzas, quaint Christmas markets, the smell of roasted chestnuts crackling on large pots on the sidewalks, the Nativity scene in churches and homes…and of course lots of good food. Italians know how to celebrate Christmas, and if you too want to celebrate like an Italian this holiday season, here are five rituals and traditions you can follow (well, one only applies if you are in Italy, but the others you can do even if you are abroad!). Remember, the Italian festive season officially begins on December 8th (Day of the Immaculate Conception) and ends on January 6th, the Epiphany. Buone feste!

Prepare the presepe on December 8

Most Italians will decorate their homes with a Christmas tree and a presepe (nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus - Mary and Joseph in a manger with the Baby Jesus). The traditional day to do this is December 8, which is a national holiday in Italy, the Day of the Immaculate Conception, or Immacolata. This is the official start of the holiday season in Italy. You can find trees and presepe decorations, including statuettes of the holy family and of all the figures who made up a traditional village of the past, at Christmas markets and even supermarkets nowadays. 

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SOURCE: https://www.italymagazine.com

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