Please Also See
Christmas Eve Fish Dinner
For a country like the United
States that has a lot of Italians, its interesting that the season of Christmas
in Italy is very differing and refreshing due to the absence of commercialism
and sales. Italian children don't make lists of toys they want, they
write letters to their mother and father expressing how much love they have
for them. Traditionally, these letters are read after
dinner on Christmas Eve. While some
of the European traditions have creeped in such as decorating an evergreen
One tradition you often hear of in the United States
is "if you are not good, you will get coal in your stocking". Well,
this actually stems from the tradition of La Befana. On the night that
Jesus was born, the 2 Wise Men had stopped by her house to ask for directions,
afterward they had asked her to join them, but she refused. Later on,
a shepherd stopped by to ask her for directions as well, and then also asked
her to join him to come pay respects to the baby Jesus, but she refused again.
Later that night, she saw a great bright star in the sky and then
reconsidered going to look for the stable where Jesus was. She had
collected some toys of her own child that had died, to give to the baby Jesus.
But, she could not find the stable. So to this day, she goes around
looking for Jesus and leaves toys for the good children, and coal for the
bad ones. Carbone Dolce is often used as the traditional joke in Italy,
its rock candy that looks almost exactly like coal.
Some of the fine Italian traditions are still in
place today. Its not all about one day, but in fact from Christmas
Eve (the real day of celebration, not Christmas Day), all the way to the
Epiphany in January.
6 - Marks La Festa di San Nicola
(Feast of St. Nicholas), the patron saint of shepherds is celebrated in towns
likePollutri with the lighting of fires under enormous cauldrons, where fave
beans are cooked, then eaten ceremoniously.
8 - L'Immacolata Concezione
(Celebration of the Immaculate Conception)
- La Festa di Santa Lucia (St. Lucy's
- La Vigilia di Natale
25 - Natale (Christmas)
Buona Natale! As they say!
26 - La Festa di Santo
Stefano (St. Stephen's Day) Which marks the announcement of the birth
of Jesus Christ, and the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
31 - La Festa di San Silvestro
(New Year's Eve)
- Il Capodanno (New Year's
6 - La Festa dell'Epifania