Thursday, 29 December 2011

Amazine History of Italian Christmas Traditions

Did you ever feel like Christmas celebrated for just one day is not enough? Well, then you should definitely adopt Italian Christmas traditions, where the entire celebrations last for more than three weeks. Yes, that's right, three whole weeks! And did you know that Christmas was actually "invented" in Italy? Italian Christmas traditions are a festive blend of Christian influences and pagan celebrations. Whether your family is Italian or if you just want to explore global holiday traditions and incorporate some old-world charm into your holiday, then it would probably be a good idea to start by learning more about Italian Christmas traditions.

Italian Christmas History

To understand how Christmas was invented in Italy, we have to understand more about Christmas history. Christmas as it is celebrated in Italy has two origins - the familiar Christian traditions and the pagan traditions from the ancient Roman empire. In ancient times, 'Saturnalia' was celebrated between the 17th of December and the 24th of December and was the pagan festival in honor of the Roman God, Saturn. During this ancient ritual, cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the long winter. For most people, especially peasants, it was the only time of the year with an abundance of fresh meat available. With all the extra food and fermented ale, the timing was perfect for a celebration! In 4 A.D. the date for the birth of Jesus Christ was officially set as the 25th December by the church in Rome. Eventually, this day was recognized around the world as the official day of Christmas. Funfairs, merrymaking and torch processions are done to accolade the birth of Christ. Natale, is literally understood as "birthday", in Italian.

Popular Italian Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Italy is a grand affair with lots of celebrating, visiting family and of course, plenty of delicious food. Christmas celebrations in Italy officially starts on 8th December which is the L'Immacolata Concezione or the Immaculate conception and the official end to Christmas in Italy is on 6th January which is the Epiphany. La Festa dell'Epifania is when the 'Three Kings' were believed to have reached baby Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment