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Italy Travel Guide

Religious and traditional festivals in Italy

Religion is a great influence in Italy especially Christianity since it is the official religion in Italy, and there are a lot of festivals and celebration related to this aspect of Italian life; those festivals are celebrated with special care and great pomp: most of them are dedicated to the Madonna or Saints of the Roman Catholic religion. Almost every city and village has a patron saint and a special day to celebrate it.

Religious festivals in Italy are a mixture of religion, faith, pagan elements and other characteristics, like the Epiphany in January which is the oldest festival of this religion and commemorates the presentation of Jesus to the Gentiles and the pagan element in the celebration includes the “Befana“(a witch who brings gifts to children). In March you’ll enjoy the different religious processions that are held in streets across countries during Holy Week; during this time it is common to see lots of people following the procession and fireworks. During Holy Week, besides the faith that overflows the celebration, Southern Italy also hosts many other festivals between sacred and profane festivals.

Holy Week
Holy Week

Italy’s cities celebrate the Epifania with different customs; Rome prepares the celebration from December starting at the Piazzo Navona; when children enjoy holiday sweets, and adults buy toys. In Sicily the custom is called “clothing the Child Jesus” which consists of Dress a poor child in the church to represent Jesus; it includes special religious services, gifts and more.

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