In Italy Christmas is one of the most important Christian festivities. It takes place on December 25th and it celebrates the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is one of the most beloved holidays in Italy.
Italians spend Christmas at home with their family, as the holiday itself celebrates family unity and love. The atmosphere is very pleasant and warm. The streets and squares, in cities big and small are decorated with lights that fill them with happiness and serenity. Big Christmas trees adorn main town squares all around the country. Together with their parents children have fun decorating their homes with all kinds of Christmas ornaments, lights and garlands and setting up Christmas trees.
The Nativity Scene
Another Christmas tradition in Italy is the Nativity Scene, in which figurines or life-size statues represent the birth of Jesus. In many cities the Nativity is re-enacted by actors, and in some places, the town itself is the backdrop of living Nativity Scenes. Click here to see what is a Nativity Scene is like.
At Christmas, in Italy just like in many parts of the world, gifts are part of the tradition. This is the moment to which children look forward: they just can’t wait to open the gifts placed under the Christmas tree! Unaware that it was their parents, children believe Santa Claus with his sleigh and his reindeer to have brought them presents.
The menu on Christmas Day
Italians organize a big dinner on Christmas Eve or a big lunch on Christmas day. Traditions and recipes vary across the country and within its regions. A typical dinner consists of fish dishes, while a typical lunch consists of meat dishes.
Traditional Christmas desserts in Italy are sweet breads such as pandoro and panettone , as well as the torrone, a nougat confection. For each type of dessert, hundreds of brands exists, whether industrial or artisanal. Each region also has its own local Christmas desserts.
Christmas in Italy
Christmas is one of the best times of the year to visit Italy, with its unique atmosphere and flavors. Have fun giving and unwrapping presents!
If you want to know more about traditional Italian festivities click here and find out how Italians celebrate Easter.
The Italian Language Schools of Dante Alighieri Society wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!