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It actually started in Rome (part of Italy, of course). The Romans had a festival called the Saturnalia, celebrating the Winter Solstice on December 21 as the rebirth of Sol Invictus (the invincible sun). Additionally, the pagan god, Mithras, had a birthday on December 25. Part of the festival involved merry-making and the exchange of gifts. An early pope declared that December 25 was the birthday of Jesus, intending to graft a Christian holiday onto one that was already being celebrated anyway. (This was a common practice in the early Church, "usurping" pagan holidays and giving them a Christian spin.) Jesus, by the way, was probably born in spring (March or April). The Bible tells us that shepherds were out in the fields watching their flocks by night, which they wouldn't have done in December because it was too cold. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated by many cultures and in northern Europe, especially, it was marked by bonfires and the display of lights, which is the origin of our modern Christmas light displays. They would also decorate their homes with evergreens, thought to have magical properties because they stayed green throughout the winter. In northern Europe the festival was called Yule. So what we celebrate at this time of year is not the birth of Jesus but the rebirth of the sun (days grow longer after the Winter Solstice). Aware of its pagan origins, the Puritans prohibited the celebration of Christmas. And some modern denominations do, as well. Mainstream denominations follow the example of that ancient pope.

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โˆ™ 2007-11-21 01:49:48
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Q: How did Christmas start in Italy?
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Related questions

When did Italy start celebrating Christmas?

AnswerCelebrating Christmas actually started in Italy.

Do they have Christmas lights in Italy?

Yes, Italy does have Christmas lights.

When does Christmas start and end in Italy?

it ends on the 6th of January when la befana comes

Does Italy decorate a Christmas tree?

does Italy decorate a Christmas tree

When did Christmas carols start?

Christmas carols started in the 13th century in Italy. The person who wrote the first carol was St. Francis of Assisi.

What is the reason for Christmas in Italy?

The reason Christmas is celebrated in Italy is the birth of Jesus.

what does italy call christmas in their language?

'Buon natale

Do they put up a Christmas trees in Italy on Christmas?

yes,and the decorations and (Christmas) trees r getting really popular in Italy,so yes they do use Christmas trees in Italy.....................

What is Father Christmas known as in Italy?

In Italy, Father Christmas is called Babbo Natale

What kind of gifts do the children receive in Italy at Christmas?

Who delivers the gifts at Christmas in Italy

Is there any christmas symblos in italy?

Nativity scenes or "Christmas cribs" (known as presepi in Italian) are the primary symbol of Christmas in Italy.

Old Man Christmas is from what country?

italy italy

When is Christmas celebrated in Italy?

Christmas is on December 25.

Do they use Christmas trees in Italy for Christmas?


When are gifts given out for Christmas in Italy?

Christmas Eve

What are the holidays in Italy?


Does Italy celebrate Christmas?

Yes, Italians celebrates Christmas.

What food does italy eat on Christmas?

They Have Christmas Dinner On A Pizza!

How do people decorate for Christmas in Italy?

with a big christmas tree

What day do people in Italy celebrate Christmas?

Christmas Eave

How did Christmas start in Spain?

How did Christmas start in Spain?

What are some Christmas symbols in Italy?

la befana Christmas markets

What is the custom of Christmas decorating in Italy?

My family in Italy usually put up Christmas trees, they put up lights and pass out presents on Christmas they usually have big meals around Christmas and lentils.

What to wear in Italy for Christmas?


What are the differences between Christmas traditions in the US and Italy?

On Christmas Eve in Italy they have an eight or seven course sea food dinner.