How to celebrate an Italian style Christmas

Vatican City - Stained Glass WindowTo celebrate an Italian style Christmas you must start celebrating at Novena that falls eight days before Christmas. During the holiday season, in the villages, the shepherds play musical instruments and sing Christmas songs. Children get together in groups and dress up as shepherds. They go from door to door playing pipes, reciting Christmas poems and singing Christmas songs. The householders give them money to buy presents. The spirit of Christmas Day in Italy is family, love and food and drinking is not very important. Here are some tips to celebrate an Italian Christmas.

A few suggestions

  1. Let the children dress up as shepherds and go from house to house singing carols and collecting money for gifts. If they know how then they can also play pipes, sing Christmas songs and poems like in the olden days.
  2. Instead of a Christmas tree make a ceppo (tree of light). It is a wooden frame several feet high designed in a pyramid shape. It has many shelves, with a manger scene on the bottom tier and small gifts of fruit, candy, and presents on the shelves above. Decorate it with colored paper and candles and hang a small doll or star at its apex.
  3. Let the children write letters to tell their parents how much they love them. Place these letters under their father’s plate to be read after Christmas Eve dinner is over.
  4. Observe a strict 24 hour fast before Christmas Eve and follow it up with a special no meat Christmas meal. It can contain fish and sea food, stew and cannoli.
  5. Make an elaborate no holds barred meal for the Christmas dinner and exchange presents after the meal.


  • Follow the legend of Befana an ugly but kindly witch who flies around on her broom giving presents to children.


  • Do not go overboard; do only as much as you can possibly pull off without straining yourself

2 Comments about “How to celebrate an Italian style Christmas”

  1. simone Says:

    tell me how do ilatilans celebrate christhmas it is for a research please email me mow

  2. brandon Says:

    i love all this information

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