The First Sunday of Advent celebrates the beginning of the Christian year. The season begins on the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day, marking the start of the Christian year, and ends Christmas Eve. This season may last anywhere from 22 to 28 days. Items such as Advent wreaths, candles and calendars are traditionally seen at this time of year.
Italy is known for deep meaningful family traditions centered around amazing food. It’s no wonder that food and relationships center around the advent season for the Italians. Of course with the Vatican located in Rome, you are sure to see many observances of this Christian holiday.
The advent season lasts a bit longer in Italy; beginning December 6th with the Feast of St. Nicholas and ending in early January with the Feast of the Epiphany. The catholic church in Italy recognizes Advent as more of an awaiting of the second coming rather than an observance of the first.
Countdown calendars have gained popularity over the years in Italian homes, but most of the advent traditions center around religious ceremonies. During the novena, nine days prior to Christmas, rural area italian children have been known to go door to door reciting scripture verses, poems or songs for coins.