You may have celebrated Christmas in many countries and cultures but it has a unique charm in Italy. After all it is the birthplace of Christmas. One thing more, don’t wait for Santa to bring you gifts. In Italy the La Befana, an old witch, brings toys and candies for Children instead of Santa on epiphany, falling on January 6.
Longer Celebration Time
Christmas in Italy is celebrated over a period of three weeks. The festive season begins on December 8 and continues till the Epiphany (January 6). In Italy you will find nativity scene infront of almost all houses.
Popular Christmas Customs in Italy
Piferari bagpipers and Christmas Poems
During novena (preaching time) children go door to door singing Christmas songs. In return they get coins for buying toys and candies. The festival is also welcomed by bagpipe music played by Piferari, shepherds who come down of mountains just at the beginning of the festival.
Fasting and feasting
As in case of most other countries, Christmas is not complete unless there is a grand feast. Many people fast before Christmas Day. Some people also abstain from eating meat. This is the reason fish is an integral part of Christmas meals. Menu, normally, includes sausage, fish, turkey, lamb, eel, shellfish, tomato, gingerbread, candied fruit and candied nuts.
Venice, Naples, Sicily, Rome and Trentino-Alto Adige are some of the most happening places in Italy during Christmas.