Italy
Christmas Gift Giving

What started Christmas gift giving traditions in Italy?

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2011-09-13 13:35:46
2011-09-13 13:35:46
Gift Giving in Italy HistoryThe beginning of the gift-giving tradition in Italy is not pecular to Italy. n other words, the tradition is associated with the holiday tself rather than just the country, so if we examine where the gift-giving tradition started with Christmas a whole, we have the answer. Commonly it is believed that the tradition with the "wise men," or atrologers that visited Jesus, bringing him gifts. But if we read the account, we notice that the gifts were given to Jesus, not exchanged among themselves, as in the case of Christmas. Also these men were not actually starting a new tradition. They were actually carrying out a well-established custom of the day, that is, a custom of bringing gifts to a person of notoriaty, or nobility when you visited them. So if you visited a king, you were expected to bring gifts. So where did the Christmas gift-giving originate? "Writing in the Los Angeles Independent, Diane Bailey explained: ?'Exchanging gifts dates back to ancient Rome, when the people would trade simple token gifts during ceremonies of sun worship and the new year.'? "Under the headline ?'Unwrapping Yule Traditions,'? Anita Sama wrote in a Gannett News Service story: ?'Long before Christian observances, exchanging presents was part of the winter celebrations. The Romans gave each other branches from a holy grove of trees, then moved to more elaborate items symbolizing good wishes for the coming year?silver, gold and honeyed treats.'? The holiday referenced above was the Pagan celebration of the Saturnalia, which was a feast to the sun god Ra. Early in it's history, somewhere around the 4th century, long after the death of Jesus and the apostles, the Catholic church adopted the Pagan Saturnalia into the church, with all of it's custom, including the gift-giving, and changed the name to "Christ's Mass," or Christmas.
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Italy is the accepted correct answer. I am not sure where "anonymous" got his information, but Italy is *not* the "accepted correct" answer. Gift-giving traditions centered around the Winter Solstice have been around since pre-Christian times. Yes, one of those traditions came out of Rome and the Saturnalia (which is in modern Italy), but it is not the first, nor the most direct, influence on modern gift-giving. German and Victorian British traditions; it is directly from those influences that modern Christmas got its tradition. The netherlands answer i agree, Italy is the correct answer, i looked it up in other resources.

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