Christmas Traditions in Italy

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Italian Christmas traditions are mostly based on the religion of Christianity. In Italy, Christmas officially starts 8 days before Christmas day and ends at the Day of Epiphany. There are still some old Italian Christmas traditions that are still alive up to this day, thus it is a must for everyone to go for a trip to Italy during the Christmas season.

Italians usually don’t eat meat before Christmas day. But a feast will be served after the fasting. The traditional Christmas Eve meal of Italians, or Canone, consists of spaghetti and anchovies, fish, broccoli, fresh salads and fruits.

Italians also burn a Yule log, or Ceppo, for good luck. The Urn of Faith is an Old Italian Christmas tradition in where gifts are placed in an ornamental bowl, and each family member will have to pick one present until all presents are gone.

The Nativity Story is depicted on the Manger or Presepio. It is the centerpiece of every Italian household during Christmas. The Ceppo in the other hand is the tradition of the Tree of Light, the Italian for the Christmas Tree.

Italian children would hang their stocking during January 6, or the Day of Epiphany, where they celebrate the coming of the 3 kings to Betlehem.  It also reminds them of the Legend of La Befana , a woman asked by the 3 Kings to ride with them to see the Child Jesus but declined. She was said to give gifts to good children and charcoal for those who are not.


 


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