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Check out the very best Reviews from our individuals. Some individuals have given a great review to the book. Immediate download free Il primo regalo di Natale, la storia dei Re Magi, della stella cometa e del Bambino Gesu: La storia dei Re Magi, della stella cometa e del Bambino Gesu Italian Edition e-book and also get the collections of various other popular e-books. It is around this basic focal point that individual artisans create their own intricate landscapes. There may be grottoes, small trees, lakes, rivers, the lights of "Bethlehem" in the background, angels hung from wires, and occasionally, even local heroes.

The most beautiful Cribs are set up in churches. There is often a contest between churches of the same town for the best Crib. People go from church to church to view and compare the Cribs and displays. Another tradition is the burning of the Yule log, which must stay alight until New Year's Day. This, again, is an example of pagan and Christian blending. The pagan belief explains the purifying and revitalizing power of fire, and that with the burning log, the old year and its evils are destroyed. Christian legend tells how the Virgin Mary enters the homes of the humble at midnight while the people are away at Midnight Mass and warms her newborn child before the blazing log.

Amidst the general merrymaking and religious observance of Christmas Eve, Christmas tapers long slender candles are lighted and a Christmas banquet is spread. In some places, Christmas Eve dinner consists largely of fish. There may be as many as 10 t 20 fish dishes prepared. In Rome, the traditional dish of Christmas Eve is "Capitone," a big female eel, roasted, baked or fried. North of Rome a traditional dish may be pork, sausage packed in a pig's leg, smothered in lentils, or turkey stuffed with chestnuts.

Common throughout Italy are the Christmas sweets: All Christmas sweets, as a rule, contain nuts and almonds. Peasant folklore theorizes that to eat nuts favors the fertility of the earth and aids in the increase of flocks and family. In ancient Rome, honey was offered at this time of year so that the new year might be sweet.

The Christmas season in Italy goes for three weeks, starting 8 days before Christmas known as the Novena. During this period, children go from house to house reciting Christmas poems and singing. In some parts shepherds bring musical instruments into the villages, play and sing Christmas songs. In the week before Christmas children go from house to house dressed as shepherds, playing pipes, singing and reciting Christmas poems.

They are given money to buy presents. A strict feast is observed for 24 hours before Christmas Eve, and is followed by a celebration meal, in which a light Milanese cake called panettone features as well as chocolate. Presents and empty boxes, are drawn from the Urn of Fate - lucky dip, which always contains one gift per person. By twilight, candles are lighted around the family crib known as the Presepio, prayers are said, and children recite poems.

At noon on Christmas Day the pope gives his blessing to crowds gathered in the huge Vatican square. In Italy the children wait until Epiphany, January 6, for their presents. According to tradition, the presents are delivered by a kind ugly witch called Befana on a broomstick.

Italian Word of the Day: Stella (star) – Daily Italian Words

It was said that she was told by the three kings that the baby Jesus was born, she was busy and delayed visiting the baby. She missed the Star lost her way and has been flying around ever since, leaving presents at every house with children in case he is there.

She slides down chimneys, and fills stockings and shoes with good things for good children and it is said leaves coal for children who are not so good. Christmas lunch is Tortellini in Brodo which is filled pasta parcels in broth, also served is cappone which is boiled capon, or roasts are served in central Italy. On the Italian holiday calendar December 25 isn't the only special day.

Throughout December and January there are a number of religious holidays to mark the season. Nicholas, the patron saint of shepherds, is celebrated in towns such as Pollutri with the lighting of fires under enormous cauldrons, in which fave broad beans are cooked, then eaten ceremoniously. La Festa di Santo Stefano - St. According to some, the very first nativity scene was, in fact, constructed in Italy in by St.

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Francis of Assisi - he wanted a way to involve the local people in the Christmas story, so he built a presepio in a cave near Assisi in the town of Greccio where he then held the Christmas Eve mass. Greccio continues the tradition to this day. Naples is famous for the hundreds of nativity scenes throughout the city, Rome has an impressive selection, and the Vatican puts up a large presepio in St.

One special nativity scene worth noting is in the town of Stiffe in Abruzzo, where a life-size manger scene is erected in a well-lit cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites, making it a unique and beautiful sight.

Stolen Child

People do exchange gifts during the holiday season, but not in December. The most important part of the season is actually the Epiphany, celebrated on January 6, and this is when children hang stockings out and when most people exchange presents. The legend of La Befana goes like this:. According to the legend, the night before the Wise Men arrived at the manger they stopped at the shack of an old woman to ask directions.