What are the most important dates in the Italian calendar?
The Christmas season starts on December 8th when we celebrate the Immaculate Conception which is the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception keeping her “immaculate”. Usually families get together for lunch and it is traditionally the day that the Christmas tree and Nativity Scene are built.
Today is Saint Lucy!
The tradition says that Saint Lucy will bring toys to kids during the night between the 12th and 13th of December, but not everyone will get them. Only in certain part of Italy we have Saint Lucy, for example the main cities of Rome or Milan, don’t have her.
Traditionally a bouquet of hay is put outside of the house for Lucy’s Donkey and food in the house for Lucy to refresh them after the long night bringing gift to every kid. In small towns, a parade with Saint Lucy is held the evening of the 12th when she goes through the main streets of the town launching sweets and candies from her cart, always together with her donkey.