How Does Italy Celebrate Christmas?
How does Italy celebrate Christmas? That may be a question many people have wondered but may not know the answer to. Italy celebrates Christmas with many traditions, most of those traditions originating from the Christian religion.
Italy Christmas celebrations start on December 8th, known as the "Day of Immacolata". It is observed by setting up the manger, also known as "presipio". By the time it is evening, there are candles lit, prayers are said, and children recite poems. Then the tree is put up and decorated with colorful ball ornaments and multi-colored lights. The tree and the manger remain up until January 6th, The Feast of Epiphany.
Italy's Christmas season is marked by the firing of a cannon from the Castle of Saint Angelo, located in Rome. The celebration of the Christmas season starts eight days prior to Christmas and lasts for three weeks. During the eight days prior to Christmas, special prayers and church services take place; they are known as "novena".
Twenty for hours prior to Christmas Eve, Italy celebrates by partaking in a very strict fast. Fasting is when no food or drink is allowed to be consumed. After the fasting, a very large Christmas Eve dinner takes place which is also known as the "Cennone". The dinner consists of fish, pasta, fresh fruits, vegetables, and special desserts. Meat is not consumed at this feast.
Unlike in the United States of America, where a gift exchange happens on December 25th, the main gift exchange in the Italy celebration of Christmas, happens on January 6th, on The Feast of Epiphany. The feast is an important part of how Italy celebrated Christmas because it is the remembrance of the three wise mens' visit to baby Jesus.