Christmas in Italy, New Year Holidays
Christmas Holiday in italyChristmas season in Italy is mainly celebrated December 24-January 6, or Christmas Eve through Epiphany. This follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. However there are lots of Christmas things to see during December prior to Christmas, many starting on December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.
Although Babo Natale (Father Christmas) and giving presents on Christmas are becoming more common, the main day for gift giving is Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men gave Baby Jesus their gifts. In Italy, presents are brought by La Befana, who arrives in the night to fill children's stockings.
The story of the Legend of La Befana is accompanied by one of the most interesting pictures I have ever seen. In true Italian spirit, La Befana is shown emptying her bag of toys while flying through the sky. I guess I had always pictured a more orderly passing out of toys, but she can certainly cover more ground this way.
Recipes, crafts projects and songs are all included. After reading this book you will be able to add a little bit of Italy to your next Christmas celebration.
World of Italy Christmas:
Italy at Christmastime
The Christmas markets
The Legend of La Befana
The fabulous Italian mangers
Music from the hills
Christmas at the Vatican
From Italy, a very merry Christmas
Holiday treats (recipes)
Festive decorations (crafts projects)
Christmas tunes (holiday songs)