Christmas in Italy

Believe it or not, it is almost that time of year again… Christmas. Every country has their own Christmas traditions and different ways to celebrate the most important day of the year. But what about Christmas in Italy? How do Italians celebrate Christmas?

We all know that when it comes to Italians, they do things big. Every party or celebration is a huge family occasion. So, what are some of their Christmas traditions? This is what you can expect when you are in Italy, or from your Italian friends, during the lead-up to Christmas and during the festivity itself.

Celebrations start early in December and go on until January

This is what is so great about Christmas in Italy. Their celebrations start early in December and go on until January 6th. The first celebration starts on December 6th, known as St Nicholas Day. This is where children write letters to St. Nicholas and ask for presents and the things that they really want for Christmas.

On St. Nicholas Eve, you can hear people singing Christmas carols and attending mass, and everyone starts decorating their Christmas tree and deck their homes. This is really when people are starting to get in the mood for Christmas. The last Christmas celebration, or the day when you take the decorations and the tree down is January 6th. A whole month later.

chocolate christmas gift
The whole of Italy, covered in Christmas decorations and lights

If you want to feel truly festive, then Italy is the place to visit. No matter the city or town. One thing is clear: everywhere you look, you will see Christmas decorations and lights. When it gets dark, the whole of Italy awakens in a Christmas wonderland. Making Christmas come alive.

There is nothing better to go for walks and drives during the night. Seeing the different decorations, the lights and feel the Christmas spirit.

On Christmas eve

On Christmas eve, people with the old Catholic tradition, no food is served during Christmas eve. This is a fast day, where no one is eating. This is also the day where the food for Christmas day is prepared. A feast for the whole family.

The celebrations start right after the midnight mass. The moment that it is Christmas. The children might still be asleep until early Christmas morning, but the adults start celebrating earlier.

True Italian tradition, Epifania on January, 6

In line with true Italian tradition, In Italy on January 6th, we celebrate “Epifania” known as the day of Epiphany. This is where the good children will receive presents and the naughty children would be receiving coal, brought by an old lady flying on a broom known as “befana”. Kids hang stockings and wait to see what they get…chocolates, sweets, small gifts like stocking-fillers or a little bit of money. But don’t worry, even the coal is made of sugar!

Different countries, with different Christmas celebrations. If you love Christmas, you want to be in Italy during the month of December. They celebrate in style from December 6 up to January 6. They are taking this holiday seriously. Christmas decorations are everywhere, Christmas lights at night and Christmas carols can be heard everywhere. A time of year that any tourist wants to be in Italy.