Christmas in Calabria (as in all of Italy), is the most awaited and felt time of the year
Everything appears magic during Christmas period with lots of lights and religious traditions.
In Calabria you begin to feel the Christmas starting from December 8th which is the Immaculate Conception Day.
During this public holiday, in every house people prepare the Christmas tree and the crib that accompany the whole festive period.
But...Christmas in Calabria also boasts a folkloristic flavor with magical and religious customs.
In fact, you can still find villages where time seems to stand still.
Christmas in Calabria: The traditions
One of the most important Calabrian Christmas feature is the crib.
Yes, all homes have one.
Actually, it is considered an act of religious devotion, but also a centuries-old tradition to which no one wants to give up.
On December 24, Calabrians celebrate "La Vigilia", and even those who don't attend church on a regular basis, enjoy attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
Afterwards, they often return home to share a Panettone Christmas cake and Prosecco with their families.
In the province of Cosenza and in particular in inland villages, there is the Christmas Eve tradition of the strina.
Musicians use to go from house to house to bring the “good news” of Christ’s birth, getting paid and thanked with eggs, cheese, olive oil, wine and salami.
Focare, the Christmas Bonfire in Calabria
Christmas Eve bonfires (focare) are found along many Calabrian towns and villages.
They are lit on Christmas Eve where people will socialize, dance and sing.
The bonfire symbolizes the burning of all the bad that was in the past.
Christmas markets in Calabria
Like every year, in a magical atmosphere, there are also the Christmas markets.
Exploring these markets is a fun way to celebrate the holiday and stock up on gifts and goodies.
Furthermore, the markets retain their typical charm, selling handicrafts products, tasty food and wine.
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