Christmas traditions

The Italian Christmas

Christmas

In Italy the Christmas season starts 8th December, in this day people decorate trees, they do the crib and are happy together .

The eight days before Christmas, also known as the Novena, are filled with carolers singing traditional songs around the neighborhood. If you’re in Rome, southern Italy or Sicily, you can see "the zampognari", they travel from the nearby mountains to play their merry folklore carols.

In the " Vigilia" the day before Christmas the Italians prepare and purify they're body for Christmas Day, but the Italians eat a lot of fish with all the family.

After the family dinner, many Italians head to midnight Mass at their local church to celebrate.

But traditions vary from city to city: Up north, in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomite Mountains, thrill-seekers ski down the slopes with torches at midnight to welcome Christmas.

In the Christmas Day the Italians have a huge launch, were you can eat pasta , pasta in broth , roasts and traditional desserts like the "panettone".

Celebrations often extend into December 26 with the national holiday of Santo Stefano; families get together and eat leftover Christmas dishes and sweets.

Then the 6 January the holidays are over , and all the decorations come down in the "Epifania" where the children receive candy or coal , it depends if they were naughty or nice during the year.