In Italy, the new year begins on the sixth of January. All the Italian kids were looking forward to a good Fairy Befanu. It flies at night on a magic broom, opens the door a tiny golden key, and went into a room where children sleep, fills the stockings of gifts for children, especially hanging from the fireplace. Besides, who are poorly studied or naughty, Befana leaves a pinch of ash or coal. It's a shame, but that he deserved! Buon Natale - Italian Santa Claus. In Italy, it is believed that the New Year should start getting rid of everything old. Therefore, in the New Year's Eve taken throw from the windows of the old stuff. We must be careful, if you want that on your head fell off the iron or straw chair. And, as befits the southerners do so impassioned, in a big way: throw all the trash out of windows... It is believed that the vacated position will certainly take new things. On New Year's table from the Italians are always present nuts, lentils and grapes - symbols of longevity, health and prosperity. In the Italian province there is a long tradition: January 1, early - in the morning to bring home a "new water" from the source. "If you have nothing to give to friends - say the Italians - a gift" new water "with an olive twig." It is believed that the "new water" brings happiness. It is also important for the Italians, whom they first meet in the new year. If 1 January, the first counter, which will see an Italian, will be a monk or priest - is bad. Desirable also to meet with a small child, and meet a nice grandfather - it was good. Better yet, if he hooked... That's when the new year will definitely be happy!
Christmas in Italy - a mixture of pagan, Christian and secular traditions, not only native but also borrowed from different countries. Italy celebrates Christmas on the Catholic calendar - December 25, and it is important for the Christian world event coincides with a major celebration for the Roman Empire - Saturnalia. On this day the ancient world celebrated the winter solstice - the day that revives the Sun. Pagan holiday was not forgotten by the Italians, and still on fire on Christmas Day a large piece of wood, which should burn until the New Year. This extremely pagan tradition was borrowed from northern European countries where the same feared the winter solstice. According to the pagan faith, the burning of logs represents the cleansing of people from all the bad, the destruction of evil and seeing the old year. The church was unable to cope with this tradition and so intertwined it in the context of the Christian religion. According to one legend, the Virgin Mary during the midnight mass enter the houses of poor people to warm the baby Jesus warmth emanating from the burning logs. This legend - an example of how closely intertwined at times the Christian and pagan traditions in Italy. As for Christmas logs, which, incidentally, in Italian called ceppo, then it not only burned, but eaten. This dessert, although it is an invention of French pastry, and there is a festive Italian desk (usually in the chocolate version) next to the traditional national sweets.
In accordance with Catholic tradition, Italians celebrate Christmas on December 25. On the same day, together with the Christian Christmas, begins and another very important Italian holiday celebrated since the time of the Roman Empire - Saturnalia. This is the winter solstice - the day when the sun reborn. This ancient festival goes back to pagan times and it was then, at the Saturnalia Italians ignited a massive piece of wood, which was to burn through until the New Year. Pagan holiday was not forgotten, but now has become a tradition to burn a massive piece of wood in conjunction with a Christmas. Italian Christmas - a colorful family occasion, largely a holiday for children, because Christmas is closely linked with the image of the baby - Jesus. It seems that these days, and visitors and home do the same - give each other gifts, which will decorate the interior and a festive Christmas table. Italians are very fond of beautiful golden, red or bright - yellow candle, mounted on a wide variety of candleholders. Such gifts are decorated with artificial pine wreaths with bows and natural dried berries. In general, decorate your house for Christmas is committed to almost any Italian. Known as a great Italian tradition hung on the front door from the outside, a Christmas wreath. Decorated streets, which by 24 December completely swept away, covered with burgundy carpet and lined with fir trees in massive pots.
In general, strictly speaking, the festive atmosphere begins to be felt distinctly in days before the official start of celebrations. Largely contribute to this dzamponyary - shepherds from the mountain areas, which these days are transformed into roving "touring" moving intricate routes with small performances. Folk songs dzamponyarov performed to the accompaniment of native Italian folk instruments (dzampolya, charamella....). Great tradition - writing letters to parents with warm words, there is here, in Italy. Children's letters are usually placed under the pillow of his father and he, as if by chance finding them there, read the evening on Christmas Eve.