Here is how houses and cities are decorated in Italy
With the beginning of the month of December in many Italian cities people start to prepare their Christmas decorations. There are so many traditions that have been carried on for years. In fact the beginning of Christmas preparations coincides traditionally with the date of 8th December on occasion of which the Virgin Mary is celebrated. Houses and streets all over Italy are filled with decorations and lights. Here are some of the main Christmas decorations in Italy which are the result of many a tradition.
Christmas decorations: the Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is undoubtedly one of the most widespread decorations in our country. In fact for hundreds of years this has been one of traditions that just cannot be missed in preparation for the Christmas holidays. The Christmas tree in Italy is usually put up on December 8 and it is taken down January 6. Initially the tree was decorated with dried fruit, biscuits, oranges and candles. Today these have been replaced by multicolored lights, balls of every kind, ribbons and bows. Furthermore, according to tradition a star is to be placed right on the top.
Compared to the past there is an increasing number of families that choose to use a fake tree which is easier to manage. Finally, in all Italian cities during the holidays season a Christmas tree is put up in one of the main squares. Perhaps not everyone knows the reason behind the balls. The story goes that a poor juggler in the streets of Bethlehem was sad because he could not afford to bring Jesus any gift. So he decided to put up a show and entertain him with his colored balls making the baby smile.
The nativity scene: the most traditional Christmas decoration of them all
You should know that one of the most typical decorations that you will find in Italian homes and that is absolutely a must is the nativity scene. This is a representation of the day Jesus was born. According to tradition it features a hut with Mary, Joseph, a donkey and an ox. At the center there is the crib where baby Jesus is placed. Among the most interesting traditions regarding the nativity scene there is that of Naples. We are talking about the famous Naples nativity scene where little terracotta statues are used. As in the case of the Christmas tree, this Christmas decorations features in some of Italy’s town squares. But not only that, in fact in some churches around the country on Christmas Eve a live nativity scene is enacted attracting people from the neighboring towns.
The lights and decorations in Italian cities
Always on December 8 Italian families traditionally decorate the house. In fact the lights are out up both indoors and outdoors. Some of them have specific shapes recalling some aspects of Christmas. Every region comes with its own traditions when it comes to Christmas time. One of these is the tradition carried on in Trentino. It is the Advent wreath which is created by intertwining spruce branches and red silk tape. Four candles are places in it which are lit on at the time each on one of the four Sundays preceding Christma. Very popular is also the custom of having the Calendar of the Advent. It is a cardboard with 24 boxes each representing the days before Christmas. In each one of these you will usually find a small gift or chocolate or Christmas-inspired item. This is how you wait for the arrival of the coveted Christmas Day.
Cover Image: viaggiamo