FC: FROM ITALY!
1: In Italy, instead of "Merry Christmas!", they say, "Buon Natale!" In English, this means Good Christmas. | The holiday celebrations begin 8 days before Christmas, and last until January 6th. Italians base the celebrations, around the importance of family and love ones.
2: Instead of Santa Claus, Italian children believe in a witch called, "La Befana", On January 1st, she comes, and delivers children treats and toys.
3: The eve, the Christ Child was born, the 3 wise men stopped at La Befana's house on their way to the stable. It was not until after the wise men had left that she decided she wanted to go. She brought with her gifts to present to the child, but was never able to find the stable. Now, as the myth goes, on the eve of Christmas, she wanders around giving gifts to children, in hopes of finding the Christ Child. | The Legend
4: The Holiday season is begun, by the blast of a cannon from The Castle of St. Angelo. | Rome, Italy
5: Many Italians practice fasting during the days prior to Christmas Eve. The main dish of Christmas eve dinner is generally fish.
6: In the evening of the 23rd of December, children traditionally dress as shepherds and go door to door singing carols and doing recitals.
7: After the children perform, they are rewarded with money to buy Christmas presents.
8: Christmas Eve Dinner | Italian children, like many Americans, write letters Christmas eve. Although, Italian children don't generally write letters to Santa.
9: Instead, Italian children write letters to their parents, thanking them for the past year's blessings and expressing their love for them.
10: The remaining days, Italians continue the celebration of Christ through traditional music, visiting of family, and attending Church.
11: References: | B., Tiziana. "An Italian Christmas Feast." Food& Wine. Pimseur Approach, 07/12/2011. Web. 19 Jun 2012. < http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/blog/food-wine/an-italian-christmas-feast>. K., Lacey. "Christmas Traditions in Italy." www.gather.com. laceyanne.gather.com, 12/12/2007. Web. 19 Jun 2012.