Dec 02, 2018 Italian Christmas
I’ll be doing one post a day highlighting a different country that one of YOU sent me information about. Next up for Christmas around the world Silvia from Italy shares the traditions and customs of the holidays in her country. Thank you for adding to the magic of the season!
In her area they celebrate Santa Lucia Day (Saint Lucy) on Dec. 13th, the shortest day of the year and the Winter Solstice. According to legend she brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs before her martyrdom. She is an old, blind lady, all dressed in white who brings gifts on the 13th. If you’re good you’ll get many gifts, otherwise just coal. You’re not allowed to see her otherwise she’ll throw ashes at you and make you blind. So children always go to bed early that night. If she is around you’ll hear a bell ringing and if you’re lucky you’ll hear her calling on the evening of the Dec. 12th and glimpse her walking around the neighborhood with her donkey carrying gifts for the good boys and girls.
On Jan 6th Italian’s also celebrate La Befana who is an old woman that flies on her broom stick bringing gifts to children, similar to St. Nick. She is usually portrayed as a hag riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in soot because she enters the children’s houses through the chimney. The eve of Jan. 5th Italian children hang their socks up for her to fill with candy and presents if they are good, or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad.
Hope you found this fun and entertaining. As they say in Italian Buon Natale!