Xmas is celebrated yearly in almost all country around the world, and how people celebrate this joyful season depends on the culture that each country has. Let's discover in this article which are the Christmas traditions in Italy. Giving gifts and preparing foods are things which are very common to many countries, but of course, there are a couple of events that only a particular country does, making their celebration even more special and meaningful. And Christmas traditions in Italy are truly rich and deeply rooted and intricated with their christian faith.
Christmas Traditions in Italy â The History
Here Christmas lasts for 21 days and starts with a Novena, which goes on for 8 days before Christmas. It is also an excellent way to make their Christmas even more fantastic. Celebrating Novena is one of the many Christmas traditions in Italy, which is sure to make your day bright as it has lots of laughter and music. This is usually done by young musicians; they go all over the vicinity as they sing Christmas songs, play musical instruments, and deliver Christmas poems. At times, musicians wear Shepherds, although there are times, too, that the ones performing are actual shepherds wearing the historic time's county style. They make a presentation at all the houses along their direction, and each homeowner would normally give them money as present after they have performed. This money will then be spent on purchasing gifts.
Just so you know, Novena is also practiced in almost around the world, but in different ways. As part of Christmas traditions in Italy, people make the needed Christmas preparations throughout the Novena. In addition, among the Christmas traditions in Italy is what they call Nativity Scenes, and they are really known by a lot of people and in fact, practically every Christian family has Nativity Scenes displayed in their home. It began right here, tracing its starting point back to Giovanni Vellita and St. Francis of Assisi. Giovanni Vellita was a work-man from Greccio village. They say that St. Francis furnished the thought of having mass prior the reconstructed adaptation of Nativity Scene. He then requested Giovanni Vellita to create a physical model for him. The latter worked on it and evidently coped to hand over a very remarkably moving model which deeply awed each and every beholder at the succeeding mass.
These mangers (Presepios) or Nativity Scenes have become part of Christmas traditions in Italy that it makes people go all-out to build the best one possible, with expertly planned and adorned setting. Such settings are put together on a Ceppo, a pyramidal backdrop that is made of wood. This backdrop is rather high and on top of it is the Presepio that includes animal and human forms, and below the Ceppo shelves are gift wrapped treats and presents. The decors in general depend on a person's preference and skill, but in any case, its entirety is totally striking.
Another one of the Christmas traditions in Italy is the displaying of huge vessel. Families typically display a huge bowl or vessel named as Urn of Fate and is stuffed with gifts.
Christmas Traditions in Italy â Lights, Trees, and Celebrations
People from around the world often associate this holy holiday with family gatherings, lots of food and wines, gift-giving, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Christmas lights. And even if festivities are part of Christmas traditions in Italy, there are a number of most well-known or remarkable events, decors, and celebrations that are being held from certain places in the country such as the following:
Pifferai and zampognari (players of flute and bagpipe) is not known around the world, but they are both part of Christmas traditions in Italy, particularly in Naples, Southern Italy, and Rome. The people playing these two musical instruments are normally dressed in conventional set of clothes along with long white stockings, dark-colored cloaks, and vests that are made of sheepskin. Almost all of them take a trip from the Abruzzo Mountains so they can play instruments within famous city squares as well as outside churches. Furthermore, the city of Rome has nativity displays, numerous large Christmas trees, and huge Christmas market as part of Christmas traditions in Italy.
Torino is another place to see if you want to witness the Christmas traditions in Italy as it takes pride of its lights. Squares and streets of more than twenty kilometers are lightened up by a number of the most excellent lighting artists from Europe starting November until early January.
When we talk about Christmas traditions in Italy, Naples is among the top metropolis in Italy to stay at for wonderful Nativity cribs. Southern Italy and Naples also have other practices observed during Christmas, and one of them is eating dinner with 7 dishes of fish on Christmas Eve. However, not all of them serve it and having 7 fishes is not at all necessary.
Christmas traditions in Italy do not stop there. The St. Peter's Square is extremely known to people from around the world. It is located in Vatican City and hosts widespread midnight mass in St. Peter's Basilica provided by the Pope. There is a large screen television for people within the square, and at midday on Christmas, the Pope gets his Christmas message across from his apartment's window which oversees the square. A nativity scene and huge tree are both put up in the square prior Christmas day.
The Murano Island in Venice is popular for its articles made of glass. In 2006, they showed a 7-meter glass tree constructed by Simone Cenedese. Each year, they organize a dÃ©cor program called Christmas in glass or Natale di Vetro.
Abbadia di San Salvatore celebrates Festival of Christmas Torches or Fiaccole de Natale as part of Christmas traditions in Italy. It involves torchlight parades and carols as a tribute to the shepherds. In Cortina d'Ampezzo, numerous local people and those from around the world celebrate skiers' torchlight spectacle on Christmas Eve. What they do is that they ski down the Alpine mountain, bringing torches with them.
Close to Monte Ingino's pinnacle or topmost area (beyond Gubbio, Umbria) is an 800-meter Christmas tree with 450 lights shown on Christmas as part of Christmas traditions in Italy. The Guinness Book of Records actually labeled it as "The World's Tallest Christmas Tree" in 1991. Above the tree is a star which you can see for almost 50 kms. It is illuminated yearly on December 7th, the night prior the Immaculate Conception feast. Actually, some countries around the world also put up a large tree within the plaza to make the holiday season even more joyful and meaningful.
People from around the world usually open gifts on Christmas Eve or the day itself, but as part of Christmas traditions in Italy, children delay the opening of gifts until January 6th (Epiphany).
So you see, there are so many ways that people celebrate Christmas, and when we think about Christmas traditions in Italy, we can say that theirs can surely be regarded as one of the unique holiday traditions being practiced. Be it Christmas traditions in Italy or in other countries, the most important thing is that we have to remember the birth of Jesus and to share the love He has given us - to other people.
Check out my articles about Christmas gift ideas if you're in search of affordable and unique gifts for family and friends. And you're welcome to post your comments for any ideas to share related Christmas traditions in Italy.