Christmas in Italy - ICS La Giustiniana a Roma

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The Christmas season in
Italy is traditionally
celebrated from December
8 to January 6.
Christmas as it is
celebrated in Italy has two
origins:
the familiar Christmas
traditions and the pagan
traditions from the ancient
Roman empire. In ancient
times “Saturnalia was
celebrated between the 17
th of December and the 24
th of December and was the
pagan festival in honor of
The date for the birth of Jesus Christ was officially
the Roman god, Saturn.
set as the 25 th December by the church in Rome.
Eventually, this day was recognized around the
world as the official day of Christmas.

The first tree has a long association with
Christianity. The Christmas tree tradition began in
Germany, almost 1000 years ago when St
Bonifacio converted the German people to
Christianity.
The biggest Chrstmas tree in the
world is a tree of lights on a hill
in Gubbio, Umbria , central Italy
Santa Claus, also known as saint Nicholas,
Father Christmas and simply “Santa”, is a figure
with legendary origins who, in many western
cultures brings gifts to the homes of the good
children during the late evening and overnight
hours of Christmas Eve. It is not an Italian
tradition and many people prefer la Befana
During the Chistmas Season, in Piazza
Navona, there is the biggest Christmas
market of the city. There, you can buy
gifts, Christmas tree decorations, cribs,
and so on.
The market is dedicated to Befana, the
old lady bringing gifts on the 6th of
January.
In many squares of Rome, there
is a big Christmas tree; the most
important is in San Peter’s
Square. Here there’s a lifelike
crib, too. It is enormous!

Traditionally, a
meatless dinner is
eaten on Christmas
eve with the family,
followed by a living
nativity scene and
midnight mass. In
parts of southern
Italy a seven fish
dinner is
traditionally
served on Christmas
Eve
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