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Holidays and Traditions

What are some Christmas social customs in Italy?


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May 06, 2008 9:14PM

Aside from the usual Holiday customs-and besar in mind the Religious angle is up there as Rome is the seat of the Catholic church (and has 400 Churches) There are some uniquely Italian yuletide customs. I am indebted to my Aunt Rose who lived between l897 and l987 and grew up in Italy. On Christmas eve in the Old Coujtry the biggest field pieces are limbered out of the Armory and emplaced on the Banks of the River Tiber under cover of darkness. at precisely 2359-2400 Hrs-Midnight the big 305 (A twelve inch siege mortar) fires off a Star Shell that arches over the river and is said to simulate the Star of Bethelehm, the Italian love of fireworks plays in here. I don"t now if this custom is still followed. it smacks more of a martial holiday like July 4 Than Christmas but was int he old days and I guess well into the Twenties. papersw would show the big c annon being emplaced- Holiday military maneuvers would read the captions. A 305 Lobbing a multicolor star shell would be visible all over town, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Big Blast! &Unusual but rarely commented on and so Italian. So goes the Christmas Cannon (not the pachHebel canon which is a musical composition)