Christmas traditions in Italy can vary from region to region but are often characterised by celebrations that take place over several weeks ending on the day of Epiphany. Many Italians observe the Catholic traditions of consuming fish rather than meat on Christmas Eve and visiting church for midnight mass.Know More
Most modern Italian children wait for Father Christmas to bring them gifts on Christmas Day, but this was not always the case. Traditionally, children left out long socks on Christmas Eve to be filled with candy by a friendly witch called La Befana. If they had been naughty then La Befana would leave coal instead of gifts. In some regions, gifts were brought not by a friendly witch but by Santa Lucia or even baby Jesus.
While some Italians wait until Jan. 6, the day of Epiphany, before giving and receiving their Christmas presents, most open their gifts on Dec. 25.
Many Italian houses are decorated with the Tree of Light, known as the "ceppo" in Italian. The ceppo is a pyramid-shaped wooden frame that supports several layers of decorated shelves, each shelf containing small gifts. Displayed beneath the shelves is usually a miniature nativity scene.
Most Italians enjoy a traditional family meal on Christmas Day. Lunch often features an antipasto course of cured cold meat, followed by baked pasta or tortellini. The meal also includes a main course of meat such as braised beef, lamb or veal. For desert, Italians often eat a sweet bread cake with raisins, known as "il pandoro."Learn more about Christmas
Christmas is a major holiday in Italy with many unique customs, traditions and celebrations that vary from by region. The Christmas season kicks off on Dec. 8, on the Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary with decorations on the street and at home. Dec. 8 is both a religious and state-sanctioned holiday.Full Answer >
Christmas traditions in Australia closely resemble those in other countries of the British Commonwealth, although most are adjusted slightly to take advantage of the summer weather Australia enjoys in December. Christmas trees and lights are still the standard, but Christmas dinner may take the form of a barbecue on the beach instead of an enormous meal eaten indoors. Seafood is also common alongside the traditional ham and turkey.Full Answer >
Ireland shares many Christmas traditions with the United States and England, but has a number of its own unique customs. Examples include the Wren Boys Procession and leaving a candle as a welcoming light for Mary and Joseph.Full Answer >
The type of food Italians eat on Christmas varies depending on the region, but generally, they eat a meal called La Vigilia, or Feast of the Seven Fishes, which contains fish and vegetables. La Vigilia is served on Christmas Eve and includes foods such as fish, octopus and shellfish, accompanied by vegetables such as artichokes, zucchini and broccoli.Full Answer >