Christmas Traditions in Italy
The Christmas season begins in Italy on the first Sunday of Advent, which is four Sundays before Christmas. In the cold winter weather of the northern mountains and in the mild weather of the south, Christmas fairs feature fireworks and bonfires along with holiday music. Families go to the Christmas markets to shop for gifts and new figures for the manger scene. Some families set up a Christmas tree and decorate it.
During novena, the nine days before and including Christmas Day, children go from house to house reciting Christmas verses for coins. The family sets up its presepio, or manger scene, on the first day of the novena. They gather before the presepio each morning or evening of novena to light candles and pray.