1st Day of Christmas: Celebrate Christ’s Birth and the Family He Has Given You

Italians share what Christmas is all about.

When we asked what was at the core of an Italian Christmas, he said: “Family. If we weren’t all together, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas, no matter how many decorations and presents we had.”

This article, written by Ellie Bennett, appears on The Local.

With Christmas just around the corner, The Local spoke to some Italians to find out what Christmas is really about for them.

An Italian Christmas in 2015 is a mixture of centuries-old regional traditions and more modern touches, often with a slight American influence. But at the heart of the holiday for most Italians is the idea of celebrating the birth of Jesus, and doing so with family.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, or cenone (literally ‘big dinner’) as it is known, is a meal shared on Christmas Eve and celebrates the wait for the birth of Jesus. Traditionally, Catholics abstain from eating meat in the 24 hours leading up to Christmas day, hence the reference to fish.

“The most important thing is eating dinner all together as a family,” 22-year-old student Federica Bilecci told us.

After the meal, many Italians head off to midnight mass. Marco Bonnano, also a student, said: “Mass is the most important part of Christmas for my family. Read more at The Local.

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