Are you curious to discover something more about the festival of the Immaculate Conception and to know why the tree and the crib are prepared on December 8th?
We have to go back to 1854, when Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Church as a religious principle which asserts the absence of sin from Mary’s life.
But it is not all, its meaning is attributed to the birth of Mary: Mother of God and Immaculate Conception means, namely, the birth of Mary without original sin.
Let’s talk about one of the most important Italian festivities, which represents the beginning of Christmas celebrations.
It is no coincidence that families begin to decorate the crib and the Christmas tree for the joy of their children.
Would you like to know more about this festivity and maybe get some idea of how to spend it? Then read on.
8th December among tradition and celebrations
There are many celebrations that take place in our country on December 8 and many of them are linked to the use of fires.
And I’ll tell you more, preparing big bonfires and burning them has a particular meaning: exorcising the winter and regenerating the fertility of the earth.
This particular day, however, is also linked to the preparation of some ancient dishes of Italian cuisine …
Think of a steaming polenta dish with sausage or exquisite fried pork … I’m sure you will have tasted these dishes at least once, right?
In every corner of the Peninsula, this day is celebrated with great warmth through processions and other secular traditions that are revived for the occasion.
But the celebrations devoted to the Immaculate Conception are also the beginning of preparations for Christmas, beginning with the tree and the crib.
You will certainly be wondering why we Italians wait for this particular day in December to pull out colorful lights and decorate the tree, right?
In fact there is no clear explanation, except that here in Italy we tend to follow the directions of the Catholic Church.
Keep in mind that the Christmas tree has northern European origins and probably pagan, but with the spread of Christian religion in various parts of Europe, the tradition is transformed.
Through this tree and precisely the light emanating as it burns, we are reminded of the light brought to Earth from the birth of the Child Jesus.
It is very likely that, over the years, such beliefs have overtaken that devoted to the Immaculate, but it does not mean that it is respected in all cities.
Not by chance in Milan the Christmas tree is set up on the day of Saint Ambrose, patron of the city, as in Bari festivities begin on 6 December, a day dedicated to St. Nicholas.
Where to spend the holiday of the Immaculate Conception
December 8 is also a national holiday, so you have a full day to enjoy it as you wish.
Indeed, this year, waiting for you will be a long weekend, as it falls on a Friday, giving you the opportunity to spend a few days dedicated to the many Italian Christmas traditions
Before concluding, I would like to suggest some ideas on what to do, apart from shopping around to choose Christmas decorations.
You could visit one of the gorgeous Christmas markets set up from North to South … I suggest you think about Trentino Alto Adige: it will be an unforgettable experience!
The Immaculate long weekend is also a delightful opportunity to participate in delicious events related to Italian culinary tradition, do you want to know more?
In San Marco dei Cavoti, in the province of Benevento, on 7 December the great Torrone and Torroncino Festival will begin, and it will last for five days, while the Magic of the Eternal City only awaits you to start the Christmas holidays, showing you its most beautiful treasures.