Italian Religious Traditions

Religion has a significant influence in Italy, especially Christianity, since it is the official religion in Italy. There are a lot of festivals and celebrations related to this aspect of Italian life. Most of them are dedicated to the Madonna or Saints of the Roman Catholic religion. Almost every city and village has a patron saint and a special day to celebrate it.

Religious festivals in Italy are a mixture of religion, faith, pagan elements, and other characteristics, like the Epiphany in January which is the oldest festival of this religion and commemorates the presentation of Jesus to the Gentiles and the pagan element in the celebration includes the “Befana“(a witch who brings gifts to children).
Italy’s cities celebrate the Epifania with different customs;

Rome prepares the celebration from December starting at the Piazza Navona; when children enjoy holiday sweets, and adults buy toys. In Sicily, the tradition is called “clothing the Child Jesus,” which consists of dressing a poor child in the church to represent Jesus; it includes special religious services, gifts, and more.

In March, you’ll enjoy the different religious processions that are held in streets across countries during Holy Week; during this time, it is common to see lots of people following the parade and fireworks. During Holy Week, besides the faith that overflows the celebration, Southern Italy also hosts many other festivals between sacred and profane festivals.

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