Christmas is a major holiday in Italy… which means all Italian people celebrate lots of great, unique Christmas and New Year eve traditions!

Across Italy, Natale tends to be a family-eccentric holiday, a time to stay at home (and eat!) with loved ones.But customs also vary from city to city, from exactly which dishes are served, to when to open presents, making every region an interesting place to enjoy the holidays.

Here are some popular Christmas traditions in Italy, and how to celebrate them!
Italians kick off the Christmas season (and start decorating) on the Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.During 8 days before Christmas, go caroling—and keep an eye out for bagpipe players.
The eight days before Christmas, also known as the Novena, are filled with carolers singing traditional songs around the neighborhood.To prepare and purify their bodies for Christmas Day, Italians avoid meat on la Vigilia (Christmas Eve). Although the idea is to eat lean, most indulge on multiple courses of fish… sometimes as many as seven!

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