Christmas in Italy. Essay Sample

Published: 2023-04-19
Christmas in Italy. Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  World Christmas Emotional intelligence
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1336 words
12 min read

Christmas holiday is currently celebrated all over the world. However, it traces its origins from Italy, where it was first celebrated in AD 74. It is celebrated on December 25th every year to mark the birth of Christ. Some certain traditions and cultures are associated with these festivities both in Italy and America. These cultures have evolved and been integrated, as is evident in modern-day Christmas celebrations in the United States. These include gift-giving in Christmas, Christmas trees, Christmas Carols, among others. Christmas history in the United States can be traced back to the 1800s.

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Christmas holiday celebrations in Italy kick off on December 8th, usually referred to as the day of Immaculate Conception. During this period, many homes bring out their decorations, and a canon is fired from Castel Sant'Angelo to mark the beginning of the celebrations. Some unique cultures and traditions mark the Christmas holiday in various regions of Italy. The most common tradition is the attendance of midnight mass. The exchange of gifts is also a common practice among friends and families.

A variety of foods on the eve of Christmas and the actual day marks the festivity. The term Cenone is used to refer to the big dinner after the Mass of Christmas Eve. Some of the foods and drinks are symbolic and are taken to commemorate vital traditions and beliefs. Seafood made up of clams and oysters is often included because it is considered luxurious. For example, Anguilla or eel is s a dish that symbolizes "eating the devil," possibly due to its snake-like appearance. Tortellini is a traditional food that is usually prepared for significant events. During Christmas, it is ready in brood and is often accompanied by a mixture of sauces, pickles, and boiled meat named bollito misto.

Panettone is a sweet loaf of bread, which together nuts are used as dessert to symbolize fertility in the next year. In some regions, struffoli ia simple fried doughs served as desert, while some areas prefer varieties of dried and fresh fruits.

The foods taken are usually derived from the local environment and may be subject to change over some time. The foods represent the richness of Italian culture. Other notable foods include Basilicata, red pepper that is sundried and served with codfish; Calabria, a portion of traditional pasta with meat sauce; Campania, eggs mixed with hot pepper, and Liguria, a conventional fish and vegetable recipe.

Traditional music is used to mark Christmas in Rome and some parts of Southern Italy where shepherds dressed in cultural sheepskin and cloak made of wool. The players are also referred to as Zampognari and usually perform in pairs. Celebratory bells are also typical in the eve of Christmas to mark the Birth of Jesus. During this period, Tombola, a game where numbers are picked from a drum, is played. Christmas carols are also a common phenomenon in Italy. Songs such as Silent Night, Jingle bells and Cantan gli Angeli are some examples of the music that grace the Christmas festive period

Gift-giving is an ancient tradition that has evolved into the current system of children receiving gifts from Father Christmas. A myth is narrated about an older woman who was requested by the three wise men to accompany them when Jesus was born, but she declined the invite. Even though she later changed her mind, she could not locate the three wise men. Since then, she delivers gifts to all good children on her way to search for Jesus.

The lucky thirteen is a unique part of Christmas that is usually looked forward to by a large number of workers in Italy. The section involves awarding workers with bonuses equivalent to their monthly wages that are meant for gift shopping. The part is said to have been introduced by the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. It was initially meant to reward factory workers, but over time it became eligible for all kinds of employees. This practice is quite particular in this region as this kind of reward is usually an incentive for better performance in many countries. Therefore, it appears as a surprise to immigrants who celebrate their festive season in Italy. However, many companies are seeing it challenging to reward this bonus in the present times.

Italian have been exceptional when it comes it comes to Christmas celebrations since they are still maintaining the religious importance of this day. It is familiar to hear church bells ringing in the Eve of Christmas to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, which is a practice that has been abandoned by most countries. Several more new traditions have been adopted to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Among them is where bagpipe-playing shepherds dressed in traditional sheepskins and wool cloaks play melodious tunes in Southern parts of Italy and Rome. It is always impressive to see pipers traveling in pairs down from their mountainous homes. The southern part of the country is also known for the playing of Italian games. Tombola is played in is the better part of the winter holiday.

Italy has an unmatched way of celebrating Christmas, whereby they usually extend the season for nearly a full month. The celebration starts on December 8th through a celebration of Immaculate Conception. This celebration is associated with Mary, the mother of Jesus. On this day, God intervened and washed away the original sins of Mary while she was still in her mother's womb. It's during this period when many Italian homes and towns put on decorations to mark the beginning of the festive season. Cannon is also shot from Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo to act as a signal of the start of the season. After this beginning, the season continues until Epiphany, which is the period when the three Wiseman reached Bethlehem.

Novena, which is nine days before Christmas, is a time treated with respect as it is perceived to be the time when shepherds traveled to baby Jesus' manger. During this period, children in rural areas move from door to door, performing Christmas songs and poems in exchange for money and sweets.

Christmas celebration in America has shown significant changes as opposed to an Italian festival. America, like other countries, developed its traditions and observances, which have significantly changed over time. These changes can be attributed to a high rate of immigration in the United States and globalization in general. A mix of religious and secular customs with family traditions is typical in America. Several rituals from ancestral land are often blended with food and decorations during this festive season. The majority of Americans consume roasted turkey and ham as their main meal in the Christmas dinner. Lanterns illuminated with candles are put on to mark the Christmas Eve.

The immigrants, on the other hand, also celebrate this festive season but quite in different ways. To begin with, Las Posadas is celebrated by Mexican Americans. This celebration involves a group of people moving together in an orderly manner to re-enact the hassle undergone by Mary and Joseph in search of bed in Bethlehem. St Lucia festivals are also presented, which are associated with Swedish Americans. Parrandas which involves friends paying surprise visits at night from house to house singing traditional songs.

Despite having religious significance, the day has also been declared a legal holiday by the federal courts. The holiday is also celebrated together with other non-Christian holidays, which happen almost at the same time as Christmas. Good examples of such holidays are African -American Kwanzaa and Jewish Hanukkah. Many changes regarding the season were observed in the 19th century. The season has been marked with a lot of commercialization, giving it an economic significance. The emphasis of Christmas shopping is evidence of much the commercialization of the holiday. Other traditions like Santa Claus also emerged as one of the significant changes in the 19th century. Mass production of Christmas cards was also observed in the same century. Christmas tree, which started in Germany, also became very popular in the United States in the 19th century.

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