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Holidays - Festivals
The very roots of our modern Christmas were born in Italy. Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity, was decreed by Emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 to take place on December 25th of each year. Although many biblical historians believe that the actually birth of Jesus took place some time in the Spring, early Roman Christian's felt it important to create a feast day that coincided with the many pagan celebrations had always taken place during the winter solstice. The celebration of the birth of the sun soon became the celebration of the birth of the Son.
The Vocabulary of Italian Carnevale
Carnival celebrations are hugely popular in Italy and some cities and town are renowned all over the world for the creativity and beauty of their Carnival parades. Venice, Viareggio and Cento are probably the best known Italian towns when it comes to enjoying Carnival: If you decide to visit them, here is some vocabulary to help you getting straight away into the right atmosphere!
A romantic Valentine's day in Italy
Italy is famous for its romantic towns, which have often been the setting for unforgettable cinematic love scenes. There are several ways to have a great time with your partner for Valentine's day in Italy: la festa degli innamorati, the day of lovers, is usually celebrated by going to the restaurant for a nice dinner. Sweethearts usually give each other gifts, flowers and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes. Imagine how beautiful it would be to do all this in Italy, in some of the most amazing locations in the world? Here are some ideas and places you must consider if you want to celebrate San Valentino "Italian Style"!
Italian food for Carnival
In Italy, Carnival is considered a good time to celebrate, have fun and, obviously, eating good. To this day, several typical recipes are linked to and served during Carnival time.
Known all over the Italian territory, they have acquired several names according to the regional area of production. Chiacchiere, bugie, cenci, guanti are only some of the numerous names referring to this type of deep fried, yet light pastries. In spite of the name differences, the ingredients and method of cooking are always the same: flour, butter, sugar and vegetable oil to fry; they look like little, puffy biscuits, but have the light, crumbly texture of puff pastry. They are honey-colored and served with a sprinkling of icing sugar on top.
The most famous Italian cities at Christmas
Italy turns itself into a fairytale dream at Christmas, where everything has a special role. Amazing Christmas trees, colorful streets full of lights, Babbi Natale –Santa Clauses– greeting people in squares, nativity scenes and zampognari playing bagpipes, all makes the atmosphere magic.
Two religious feasts in November: All Saints and All Souls Day in Italy.
November is inaugurated by two important religious feasts in Italy: All Saints and All Souls day. These days are very important for the Catholic tradition and they find their roots in a distant past.
All Saints day
La festa di Ognissanti, All Saints feast, is a religious event celebrated in Italy on November 1st. It celebrates all the saints of the Catholic calendar.
On the night of Saint Sylvester (San Silvestro), December 31st, a worldwide party crosses countries and time zones. In general Italians celebrate like most others in the world often gathering to watch fireworks or setting off some of their own. Yet, if you celebrate New Year's Eve in Italy you will notice some cultural differences that are unique to the country. This article will touch on some of them as well as provide some suggestions on what to do if you'll be ringing in the new year in Italy.
The Italian Presepe: A Christmas Tradition
"T piac o' presep" were famous words uttered by Neapolitan Eduardo DeFilippo, an Italian actor and director, in the drama "Natale in casa Cupiello". In English they mean, “Do you like the crèche?”
The presepe, or crèche, was extremely important to one of the protagonists of the work, who in the story is totally absorbed in creating one and trying to finish it for Christmas.
Two Religious Feasts in November: All Saints and All Souls Day in Italy
November is inaugurated by two important religious feasts in Italy: All Saints Day and All Souls Day, November 1st and 2nd, respectively. These days are very important in the Catholic tradition and their roots can be found deep in the past.
All Saints Day (November 1st)
La Festa di Ognissanti, or the All Saints Feast, is a religious event celebrated in Italy on November 1st. This feast day celebrates all the saints of the Catholic calendar.
Capodanno (New Year's, January 1st)
Italian holidays are comprised of some of the common international ones--like Christmas and New Year's--plus some which are typically their own. These made-in-Italy holidays are a combination of religious, political and social celebrations. We have listed them here by date and have also provided the Italian name for the holiday so you'll know just what to call it when speaking to your Italian friends!
Are you planning a trip to Italy during the winter holidays or are you just curious about Italian Christmas customs?
These are Italy's main festivities during Christmas:
- 13th of December Santa Lucia
- 25th of December Christmas
- 26th of December Santo Stefano
- 1st of January Capodanno
- 6th of January Epifania
Infiorata Bolsena 2010 June 6 2010. The 'infiorata' is a homage to the miracle that took place in Bolsena, known all over the world as the 'Miracle of Bolsena. In 1263 a Bohemian priest, traveling to Rome to resolve his doubts over the doctrine of transubstantiation, celebrated mass in the town: the communion host turned to literal flesh at the consecration and drops of human blood spilled onto the altar cloth. He tried to hide what had happened but stains remained on the cloth and on the floor.
Italy Tours & Itineraries - Calandar of Events
When to go to Italy and what will be happening when you get there? This is a question many travelers ask themselves before planning their trip to the Old Country. Italy is spectacular no matter what time of year you choose to go, but if your travel plans are flexible you may want to plan around the different events happening throughout the year. Let’s take a short journey through the 12 months of the year and highlight different events and festivals happening.
Available in Inglese: Christmas in Italy
La festa del Natale e' considerata, quasi in tutto il mondo, la festa piu' importante dell'anno. Viene celebrata il 25 dicembre e per il popolo cristiano si festeggia la nascita di Gesu' Cristo.
The Festival of Calendimaggio
Calendimaggio: May 6-8 2010
The origins of the festival of Calendimaggio which takes place in Assisi, are to be found among the ancient customs of many different peoples, but especially in the Roman celebrations known as the "Fasti di Maggio" and in the medieval tradition of celebrating the arrival of Spring in early May (Kalende di Maggio) with groups of revelers serenading through the streets of the town.
Traditional Events in Italy's Many Cities
ALMOND BLOSSOM FESTIVAL First half of February Folk festival of song, dance, costumes, fireworks
GIOSTRA del SARACINO (Joust of the Saracen) First Sunday in September Tilting contest of the 13th century with knights in armor
CALENDIMAGGIO (Celebration of Holy Week) Easter Week Celebration of spring according to rites dating back to medieval times
It seems that the month of December is the time of gift giving regardless of your religious affiliation or nationality. This is especially true in the United States, where the image of Santa Claus is emblazoned everywhere starting in late November. Other countries have their own version of a benevolent older gentleman who gives out gifts in December known as Father Christmas. Whatever you call him, be it Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, or even Santa Claus, the kindly gift-giving figure of December has its roots in a real man, the original Saint Nicholas - known in Italy as San Nicolo di Bari.