La Befana : Italian Christmas Witch

Contrary to common belief, witches are not solely evil old women with warts who fly around on broomsticks and laugh wickedly. The exception is La Befana, the gift-giving witch of Italy. Many wonder why children in Italy hang their stocking up on the night of the epiphany. This tradition dates back to an ancient Italian legend. Although the legend of the Italian Santa Claus, Babbo Natale, has been celebrated in Northern Italy for many years, he is still a comparatively new Christmas figure in Italy. La Befana is the oldest, and most popular figure to come during Christmas in Italy. She dates back to approximately a thousand years ago! The name La Befana translates to mean  “epiphany". 

Watch Andrea Boccelli Singing ‘The Christmas Song’ with Natalie Cole

Andrea Bocelli is a famous Italian opera singer who is best-known for singing music in the operatic pop genre. This highly successful and popular artist has sold over 80 million records worldwide and is credited with popularizing classical music by bringing it to the international pop charts. He has released fifteen solo studio albums and collaborated with many other talented and successful artists.

Frank Sinatra – White Christmas

The song "White Christmas" was originally written by Irving Berlin in 1942. This captivating song reminisces about a classic Christmas setting filled with snow. Frank Sinatra originally released his version of the song in 1944 on his album "Christmas Songs by Sinatra". This song reached No. 7 on Billboard's pop singles chart! Sinatra's beautifully comforting voice makes this classic ideal for the Christmas season. 

Feast of the Seven Fishes

If you are Italian American, it is likely that for you, Christmas Eve means that some type of fish is involved! The feast of the seven fishes is known as "Esta Dei Sette Pesci”. It is a Christmas Eve tradition celebrated by Italian Americans. Although the majority of Italians enjoy eating fish during this day, not all are familiar with the origins, or the symbolism of the feast.

Italian Christmas Traditions

Most countries and cultures have their own Christmas traditions and the Italians are no different. At this festive time of the year, most people in Italy get involved in the celebrations in one way or another. The history and culture of the Italians have led to them following many interesting and unique traditions during the holiday season. Many of these are now followed in other locations across the globe as Italians have emigrated and passed on their way of life in New communities. Here are some of the best Italian Christmas traditions.