We are approaching the last month of the year: December. Many people link this month to Christmas, but there are also many other traditions.
First of all, on 8 December the Immaculate Conception is celebrated: it is a day dedicated to the Virgin Mary. On this day we celebrate her freedom from original sin, a state common to all other human beings. This day represents the beginning of the holiday season too: Christmas wreaths can be seen on the doors, Christmas trees appear in windows and in every city and town Christmas lights are turned on, giving those dark streets a jolly feeling.
Some days later the calendar marks another important event: Saint Lucy. A proverb says: “Santa Lucia, il giorno più breve che ci sia”, literally “Saint Lucy, the shortest day there is”, that’s because, on the Gregorian calendar, 13 December corresponds to the winter solstice, therefore to the shortest day of the year.
Specific to this period are the Christmas markets, where lights, music, sweets and hot chocolate accompany us in a magical world and ignite the Christmas spirit we had been waiting for during the year. December’s traditions do not finish here, there’s one which brings good luck: kissing under the mistletoe is a famous tradition that brings good luck in love and the year to come.
Moreover, another important tradition is the Christmas log (called tronchetto by some): it’s a secular tradition that consists in the head of the family burning a log from Christmas Eve to Epiphany.
To conclude, we have many traditions in this month that bring people closer and make the Christmas holidays so magical and special.
— Written by Francesca Catoi and translated by Margherita Paolinelli