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Archive for the 'Italian Holidays' Category

Giorno Dell’unità Nazionale: National Unity Day in Italy

WWI Depiction

Each year, Italy observes its National Unity and Armed Forces Day in commemoration of its victory in WWI while part of the Allies. While this is no longer considered a public holiday, Italy’s National Unity Day still holds some relevance to the Italian people, who continue to put on celebrations and special events.

In this article, you’ll learn the most pertinent facts about National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day in Italy.

At ItalianPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is National Unity Day in Italy?

As mentioned earlier, National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day in Italy commemorates the country’s WWI victory. Following this victory, Italy also conquered Trento and Trieste which began the process of its unification.

Beginning in the 1970s, Italian Armed Forces and Unity Day started to fall off the radar and the Italian people no longer considered this an important day. During the 1960s, many Italians actually protested this holiday in order to draw attention to the lack of conscientious objection rights which would allow them to refuse military service.

In spite of this holiday’s declining status and the growing stigma around it, Italians did once again start to accept it in the 2000s. This was largely due to the influence of then-President Carolo Ciampi.

2. When is it?

Italian Flag

Each year, Italians commemorate their National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day on November 4.

3.How is it Celebrated?

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On National Unity Day, Italy begins celebrations by hoisting its national flag. Italian mayors and those serving in the military are present during this ceremony, and people are able to watch weaponry and martial arts demonstrations.

Further celebrations include solemn visits to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the wreath-laying ceremony, and Vittorio Veneto, both of which hold significant meaning to the Italian people. The Vittorio Veneto is where Italy and Austria-Hungary fought their final battle of WWI. Another popular destination for National Unity Day is the Redipuglia Memorial Monument, a place devoted to honoring the many Italians who lost their lives there.

4. The Italian Front

WWI Depiction

In 1915, Italy decided to leave its Triple Alliance with the countries of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and instead joined the other side. After declaring war on Austria-Hungary, Italy officially became involved in WWI.

The two countries fought many battles up until 1918, which were known as the Italian Front. The same year, the Armistice of Villa Gusti was signed at the prompting of Austria-Hungary, and Italians celebrate this each year.

5. Essential National Unity and Armed Forces Day Vocabulary

Fallen Italian Soldiers

Here’s the essential vocabulary you should know for National Unity and Armed Forces Day in Italy!

  • Anniversario
    “Anniversary”
  • Prima Guerra Mondiale
    “World War I”
  • Giorno dell’Unità Nazionale
    “National Unity Day”
  • Giornata delle Forze Armate
    “Armed Forces Day”
  • Anniversario della fine della prima guerra mondiale
    “Anniversary of the end of World War I”
  • Milite Ignoto
    “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”
  • Celebrazione all’Altare della Patria
    “Celebration at the Altar of the Fatherland”
  • Vittoriano di Roma
    “Vittoriano in Rome”
  • Visita al Sacrario di Redipuglia
    “Visit to the Redipuglia Memorial Monument”
  • Visita a Vittorio Veneto
    “Visit to Vittorio Veneto”
  • Riconoscenza
    “Gratitude”
  • Caduti militari italiani
    “Fallen Italian soldiers”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to see each one accompanied by a relevant image, be sure to check out our Italian National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day vocabulary list!

Parting Words

We hope you enjoyed learning about National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day in Italy with us!

Does your country have a similar holiday? If so, how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

Learning about a country’s culture may be the most exciting and enriching aspects of trying to master a language. If you want to continue delving into Italian culture, you may be interested in the following pages:

We know that learning Italian isn’t an easy feat. But at ItalianPod101.com, we believe that you really can master the language and come to understand Italian culture. We’ll be here with you every step of the way with constant guidance and encouragement!

Happy learning!

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Ferragosto Festa Nazionale: Celebrating Ferragosto in Italy

What is the Italian holiday Ferragosto? The name may sound a bit odd, as it refers to the month the holiday takes place in (August), and not the holiday itself. Simply put, Ferragosto is Italy’s version of the Assumption celebration, which commemorates the assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

At ItalianPod101.com, we hope to make learning about the Italian Ferragosto holiday both fun and informative, as we peel back layers of Italy’s unique culture and its religious traditions. After all, this is key in truly mastering any language!

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1. What is Ferragosto?

Ferragosto is the Italian word for the mid-August holiday, and this is the festival of the Assumption of Mary. That is, the day when, according to the Catholic religion, we celebrate the passage of Mary, the Madonna, from earth to Heaven.

The Assumption of Mary is a Catholic holiday, but its origins are Roman, as evidenced by the name Ferragosto, which in Latin means “resting of Augustus,” and signifies a feast that was held by the Emperor Augustus. One can say that today, in Italy, both Roman and Catholic traditions are present, but changes have nevertheless occurred since the time of their origin.

2. When is Ferragosto?

Fireworks Going Off

Each year, Italians celebrate Ferragosto on August 15. Because of its particular date, the Ferragosto holiday is also associated with the end of summer, and the coming of autumn and winter. Read below to learn how Italians make the most of their final days of warm summer sun!

3. Ferragosto Traditions in Italy

Woman With Feet Out Car Window

On Ferragosto, Roma and all the rest of Italy celebrate with good food, games, and a procession to commemorate the Virgin Mary.

The festivities that take place in Trappeto—a small Sicilian village—are linked to the Catholic tradition. Every year, on August 15, the statue of Madonna is put on a boat. For a typical procession at sea, the boat with the statue is dragged through the entire coastline of the country and believers follow it.

There are other customs, such as horse racing, which have a pagan origin instead. One of the most famous races is the “Palio of Siena.”

Italians, wherever they are, like to meet their friends to celebrate the summer and go outdoors to eat Ferragosto food together. It’s especially popular to organize picnics with large barbecues of meat and vegetables. Consuming large amounts of watermelon is also a must!

In addition, the resort areas hold special tournaments, such as the Greasy Pole. Here, Italians hang culinary delicacies atop a pole, which serve as the prize for the one who’s able to climb the pole fastest. But, as the name suggests, the pole is greased!

4. A Midnight Swim

Do you know how most Italian guys celebrate the Ferragosto holiday?

They gather in groups of friends on August 14, in the evening, and go to the beach together. At midnight, the ritual is to take a dip together.

5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Ferragosto

People swimming at Night

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Ferragosto in Italy!

  • Grigliata — “Barbecue”
  • Picnic — “Picnic”
  • Andare in spiaggia — “Go to the beach”
  • Andare a messa — “Go to mass”
  • Viaggio — “Trip”
  • Piccione arrostito — “Roast pigeon”
  • Cestino da picnic — “Picnic basket”
  • Bagno di mezzanotte — “Midnight swim”
  • Fuoco d’artificio — “Firework
  • Falò — “Bonfire”
  • Ferragosto — “Ferragosto”
  • Festa — “Party”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Ferragosto vocabulary list! Here, you’ll also find relevant images accompanying each word to help maximize your memorization!

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about Ferragosto with us! Does your country have Assumption Day celebrations, too? If so, what are they like? Let us know in the comments!

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Republic Day in Italy: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier & More

Do you know that when Italy was founded in 1861, monarchy prevailed in the country? It remained this way until the June of 1946, when Italians decided to ditch the monarchy government system and become a republic instead. Not long after, the Italian Constitution was made in 1948.

Each year, Italians celebrate Republic Day in commemoration of their newfound republic status.

In learning about Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day in Italy), you’re allowing yourself a broader understanding of Italian culture and its history. As any language learner can tell you, this is a vital step in language mastery.

At ItalianPod101.com, we hope to make it both fun and informative! Learn about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Italian parades, and the Italian Constitution with us, as we delve into the Republic Day of Italy!

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1. What is Republic Day in Italy?

Italy was originally a monarchy; in fact, its unification was commissioned by the Savoia family, a noble family of Piemontesi origin. From 1861, for nearly ninety years in Italy, both the king and the parliament co-existed.

Unfortunately, the Savoia family was not much loved by the Italians, especially because they never opposed the fascist dictatorship, and during the Second World War, they left the army and the people without any guidance. In 1946, not only the monarchy was abolished, but the Savoia were also sent into exile outside Italy, until 2002.

2. When is Republic Day in Italy?

Someone Holding Paper in Front of Italian Flag

After World War II ended, there were elections and the Italians decided to abolish the monarchy and became a republic. That day was June 2, 1946 and today it is the Republic Day.

3. Reading Practice: How is Italy’s Republic Day Celebrated?

A Parade

On Republic Day, Italy observes a few fascinating traditions and celebrations. Read the Italian text below to find out, and then read the English translation directly below it.

Anche il 2 giugno, come il 25 aprile, si festeggia con una cerimonia a Roma presso l’Altare della Patria, a cui partecipa il Presidente della Repubblica. Con questa festa si ricorda anche il cosidetto “miracolo economico italiano,” cioè la veloce ripresa economica dell’Italia dopo i cinque lunghi anni della guerra mondiale. Anche se l’Italia aveva perso la guerra e molte città erano state distrutte dai bombardamenti aerei, tutto cambiò velocemente e il tenore di vita migliorò in poco tempo.

Un evento particolarmente interessante del 2 giugno è l’apertura speciale del Palazzo del Quirinale a Roma. Il Palazzo del Quirinale è uno dei monumenti piu’ belli di Roma, ma e’ anche la casa del Presidente della Repubblica. E’ un palazzo del sedicesimo secolo e fu il palazzo del re fino al 1945, le sue sale e i suoi giardini sono bellissimi e chi riesce a visitarli è molto fortunato.

June 2, like April 25, is celebrated with a ceremony in Rome at the Altar of the Fatherland, which is attended by the President of Italy. With this festival, people also remember the so-called “Italian economic miracle,” the recovery of the economy of Italy after the five long years of World War II. Although Italy had lost the war and many cities were destroyed by aerial bombings, everything changed quickly and the standard of living improved in a short span of time.

A particularly interesting event of June 2 is the special opening of the Quirinale Palace in Rome. The Quirinale Palace is one of the most beautiful monuments in Rome, but also serves as the residence of the President. It is a building from the sixteenth century and was the king’s palace until 1945; its rooms and gardens are very beautiful, and those who manage to see them are considered very lucky.

4. Additional Republic Day Celebrations & Traditions

1- Tri-color Air Show

One of the most beautiful events of this day is definitely that of the Tricolor Air Show, which is when some Italian army aircraft create the Italian flag in the sky with amazing aerobatics and colored smoke.

In the same vein, do you know in which city the “tricolor,” the national flag of Italy was created?

The “tricolor,” green-white-red, was created in Reggio Emilia in 1797, long before Italy was unified.

2- What is The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

While the Tomb of the Unknown soldier didn’t originate in Italy, it is one of a few countries to have a tomb dedicated to soldiers lost in war who were unidentified.

In Italy, this tomb is called the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, mentioned above, and it’s a significant aspect of the Italian National Day (as it is for numerous other important Italian holidays). In a sense, it represents Italy’s struggle to reaching its republic status as a country. It also embodies all of the losses before and after.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Italy’s Republic Day

Tricolor Arrows

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Republic Day in Italy!

  • Roma — “Rome”
  • Repubblica — “Republic”
  • Costituzione — “Constitution”
  • Parata — “Parade”
  • Tomba del Milite Ignoto — “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”
  • Tricolore — “Tricolor”
  • Promulgare — “Promulgate”
  • Frecce Tricolori — “Tricolor Arrows”
  • Altare della Patria — “Altar of the Fatherland”
  • Rendere omaggio — “Pay homage”
  • Ghirlanda d’alloro — “Laurel garland”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Italian Republic Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Italy’s Republic Day and its celebrations? How does your country celebrate its Republic Day? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Italian culture and the language, visit us at ItalianPod101.com and see all we have to offer the Italian learner, regardless of their current level. Read more insightful blog posts like this one, hone your word knowledge with our free vocabulary lists, and discuss lessons with fellow students on our community forums! You can also upgrade to a Premium Plus account to take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Italian with your own personal teacher.

Know that your determination will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Italian like a native before you know it! Best wishes!

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La Pasquetta: Easter Monday in Italy

Have you ever received a chocolate egg as a gift? For Italians, the chocolate egg is a symbol of Easter, which is the most important festival in Christianity. The Monday after Easter (Easter Monday), in particular, is a holiday of celebration on a grand scale. In this lesson, we’ll go over Italian Easter traditions and more facts about Easter in Italy.

At ItalianPod101.com, we hope to make learning about Italian culture both fun and informative!

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1. What is Easter Monday in Italy?

Easter Monday celebrates the resurrection of Christ three days after his death, and is one of the most significant Christian holidays. As we’ll see in this lesson, Easter is very important in Italy. It’s also a national holiday and corresponds with the spring holidays.

2. When is it?

Easter Eggs and Flowers

The date of Easter Monday in Italy varies from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: April 22
  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17

3. Reading Practice: How is Easter in Italy Celebrated?

Family Having a Picnic Together

How is Easter celebrated in Italy? Find out by reading the French text below (you can find the English translation directly below it).

Nella maggior parte delle case italiane il giorno di Pasqua si organizza un grande pranzo con amici e parenti. Secondo la tradizione con la Pasqua finisce un lungo periodo di digiuno, quindi ogni piatto è particolarmente ricco, come la pizza di Pasqua, che è una grossa torta al formaggio dell’Italia centrale o l’agnello al forno con le patate e i carciofi. Ovviamente non bisogna dimenticare le uova di Pasqua, le uova sono un simbolo di vita e rinascita; oggi sono fatte di cioccolato, ma in passato venivano usate uova vere, con il guscio decorato.

Il giorno dopo la Pasqua è detto il Lunedì di Pasqua, detto anche Pasquetta, e anche questo è un giorno di vacanza nazionale. Per tutti gli Italiani il Lunedì di Pasqua è un’ottima occasione per uscire di casa e andare a fare un picnic in campagna o andare a visitare qualche famosa città d’arte. Per esempio uno dei luoghi più belli in cui molti italiani si recano per fare il picnic è il bosco di San Francesco, in Umbria, ad Assisi.

In Italia quando qualcuno fa delle grandi pulizie si dice che fa le “pulizie di Pasqua” - infatti tradizionalmente prima della Pasqua, in rispetto di Cristo e per accogliere la nuova stagione, bisognava pulire la casa da cima a fondo.

In most Italian homes, a grand lunch is organized with family and friends on Easter Day. According to traditions, Easter marks the end of a long period of fasting, so every dish is very rich, such as the Easter pizza, which is a large cheese pie from central Italy, or roast lamb with potatoes and artichokes. Of course, we must not forget the Easter eggs, because eggs are a symbol of life and rebirth. Today they are made of chocolate, but in the past, real eggs with decorated shells were used.

The day after Easter is called Easter Monday, or Little Easter, and it is also a national holiday. For all Italians, Easter Monday is an excellent opportunity to leave their homes and go out for a picnic in the countryside or visit some famous cities of art. For example, one of the most beautiful places Italians go for picnics is the forest of St. Francis, in Assisi, Umbria.

In Italy, when someone does a lot of cleaning, they call it “spring-cleaning”; in fact, in the past it was traditional to respect Christ and to welcome the new season by cleaning the house before Easter.

4. Easter Symbols in Italy: Olive Tree

Do you know which tree symbolizes Easter in Italy?

It’s the olive tree, which is usually distributed to Catholic churches on Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, as a symbol of peace.

5. Must-know Vocab

Easter Dove Cake

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Easter Monday in Italy!

  • Picnic — “Picnic”
  • Grigliata — “Barbeque”
  • Lunedì dell’Angelo — “Angel Monday”
  • Gita all’aria aperta — “Open-air day trip”
  • Campagna — “Countryside”
  • Scampagnata — “Countryside excursion
  • Fuori porta — “Out-of-town”
  • Colomba di Pasqua — “Easter Dove cake”
  • Frittata — “Omelet”
  • Asparagi — “Asparagus”

To hear each word pronounced, check out our Italian Easter Monday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Easter in Italy? Are Easter celebrations similar (or different) in your country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Italian culture and the language, visit us at ItalianPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with other Italian learners. By creating a Premium Plus account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Italian with your own personal Italian teacher!

All of your determination and hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Italian like a native. ItalianPod101.com will be here with effective learning materials—and tons of support—throughout your language-learning journey.

Best wishes, and Buona Pasqua (Happy Easter in Italian)! Enjoy some Italian Easter cookies, Italian Easter bread, and Italian Easter pie for us! ;)

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Carnevale: How to Celebrate the Carnival Season in Italy

In Italian, it is said that “anything goes during Carnival.”

Some countries simply feast to their heart’s content during Carnival, the holiday just before the Lent period of fasting. Others participate in lots of dancing. Some countries hold to more religious celebrations.

But in Italy, this is a time of Masquerades and rule-breaking—in addition to feasting and other merry activities.

Let ItalianPod101.com show you all the unique facets of Italy’s Carnevale!

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1. What is Italian Carnival?

Many aspects of the the content and nature of the current Carnival—such as Saturnalia—can be easily traced back to their ancient Roman origins. As for the etymology of the word Carnival, it most likely derives from the Latin expression carne levare, which means “eliminate the meat.” This makes reference to the religious practice of abstaining from meat during the period of Lent.

During the Carnival, Italy allows everyone to eat at will, and above all, break the rules, while wearing a mask (maschera). The Italy Carnival season is truly a unique feature of the country’s culture, and in this article you’ll learn how Carnival is celebrated in Italy.

2. Italian Carnevale Date

Single Mask

The date of Carnival in Italy varies each year, as it depends on the date of Easter. For your convenience, here’s this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 4
  • 2020: February 24
  • 2021: February 15
  • 2022: January 31
  • 2023: February 20
  • 2024: February 12
  • 2025: March 3
  • 2026: February 16
  • 2027: February 8
  • 2028: February 28

3. How is it Celebrated?

Clown Float

Today in Italy, this holiday is primarily a festival for children, but Carnival in Italy’s history
was a festival especially for adults. The rule of the Carnival is that you have to break the rules and do everything that is normally prohibited during the year. This is where the custom of masquerade originates—so that those who break the rules cannot be recognized.

The typical dishes of Carnival are sweets, one of the most popular being the chiacchiere made of sugar-coated fried pastry.

In Italy, there are various mask traditions that began many centuries ago and are well-known all over the world today.

Among the most famous is Harlequin, a mask from Bergamo, and Pulcinella, a typical mask of Naples. Both Harlequin and Punchinello represent clever servants, always ready to play a joke on their master. Both of these masked men are the symbols of the revenge of the servants on their masters.

Even though the Carnival takes place in winter, there are many events that are held outdoors. Italians, both adults and children, are very fond of attending the parades of the allegorical wagons, which are huge papier-mâché wagons representing traditional masked men or famous public figures in an ironic manner.

However, the Carnival of Venice may be the most famous of the Italy Carnevales, because of its particular beauty and the sophistication of its masked men, of which everyone has seen a picture at least once.

4. Reading Practice: Oranges!

Read the Italian text below to learn about another fascinating aspect of Carnevale in Italy (you can find the English translation directly below it).

—–

Sapete perche’ a Carnevale piu’ di duecentocinquantamila chili di arance vengono portati nella citta’ di Ivrea, in provincia di Torino?

Perche’ tra i riti del Carnevale c’e’ anche la battaglia delle arance, durante la quale i partecipanti si tirano le arance addosso.

—–
Do you know why, during Carnival, more than 250 kilos of oranges are brought into the city of Ivrea, in the province of Turin?
It’s because one of the rituals of the Carnival is the battle of the oranges, during which the participants throw oranges at each other.

5. Must-know Vocab

Harlequin Costume

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Carnival Season in Italy!

  • Carnevale — “Carnival”
  • Maschera — “Mask”
  • Costume — “Costume”
  • Scherzo — “Joke”
  • Festa — “Celebration”
  • Mascherarsi — “Cloak”
  • Arlecchino — “Harlequin”
  • Chiacchiere — “Chiacchiere”
  • Carro allegorico — “Float”
  • Sfilata — “Parade”
  • Quaresima — “Lent”

If you want to hear each word’s pronunciation, visit our Italian Carnival vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think about Carnevale (and Italy’s Carnival masks)? Do you celebrate Carnival in your own country, or a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Italian culture and the language, visit us at ItalianPod101.com! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Italian learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Italian teacher!

We hope you enjoyed learning about Carnival season in Italy with us. Continue delving into Italy’s culture and practicing your language skills, and you’ll be speaking like a native in no time!

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Italy

From 1943 to 1945, Nazism became more rampant in Italy as some parts of this country came under German occupation. Though the Holocaust in Italy isn’t talked about as widely as the Holocaust in other countries, there’s no doubt that Jews were indeed persecuted here and those seeking to defend them were greatly victimized.

For this reason, Italy holds a commemoration for all victims on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This Italian Holocaust Day Remembrance is very significant to the Italian people and is a day of mournful reflection on the Italian Holocaust. Holocaust memorials in Italy are especially common in places like Rome, where Nazism became especially strong.

Learn more about Italy and the Holocaust with ItalianPod101.com!

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1. What is International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

In Italy, from 1943 to 1945, Jews began to face persecuzione (“persecution”) and deportazione (“deportation”) at the hands of Nazis. They became victims of Nazismo (“Nazism”) and their prigionia (“imprisonment”) in concentration and death camps was made possible as parts of Italy came under German occupation.

Up until 1943, parts of Italy were actually seen as a sort of refuge for Jews. That changed once Italy surrendered to Germany, and approximately 16% of Jews living in Italy during the next two years of persecution were killed.

Even in Italy there were a few concentration camps, and one of the best known is Fossoli in Emilia Romagna, which can still be visited today.

Italy and many other countries celebrate the Day of Remembrance (Giorno della Memoria) to commemorate the victims of Nazism and those who put their lives at risk to protect the persecuted.

2. When is International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

A Day for Remembrance

International Holocaust Remembrance Day takes place on January 27 each year.

January 27 was chosen as the symbolic date of the end of the Holocaust, because this is the day that, in 1945, the Auschwitz campo di concentramento (“concentration camp”) was liberated by the Russian army. The discovery of the Auschwitz camp was the first revelation to the world of the full horror of the Nazi genocide.

3. How is it Celebrated?

Celebrating International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On this day, special events are organized to remember those who lost their lives, especially in the Italian cities that were host to Nazi persecution, such as Rome, or places that are still home to Jewish communities.

For example, the Monument Museum of the Deportees of Carpi hosts an extraordinary exhibition almost every year. The Holocaust in Italy is commemorated with different artistic and literary testimonies as well, some of which we’ll discuss in the section below.

4. Additional Information

Undoubtedly, “If This is a Man,” (Se questo è un uomo) by Primo Levi is the representative symbolic novel of Holocaust literary testimonies. Primo Levi, a Jewish-Italian writer, lived through his deportation. As a survivor he committed himself to letting everyone know what happened in the Nazi labor camps and about the exterminations.

But it doesn’t end there. Among the more recent works dedicated to this tragedy is the movie “Life is Beautiful,” (La vita è bella) by Roberto Benigni, who skillfully portrayed the reality of the concentration camps while managing to bring a smile to viewers’ faces.

5. Must-Know Vocab for Italy’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Black and White Photo

To learn more about the history of the Holocaust in Italy, here’s some vocabulary for you to go over.

  • Memoria — “Remembrance”
  • Giornata della Memoria — “Remembrance Day”
  • Leggi razziali — “Racial laws”
  • Deportazione — “Deportation”
  • Fascismo — “Fascism”
  • Vittima — “Victim”
  • Nazismo — “Nazism”
  • Intolleranza — “Intolerance”
  • Persecuzione — “Persecution”
  • Prigionia — “Imprisonment”
  • Campo di concentramento — “Concentration camp”
  • Campo di sterminio — “Death camp”
  • Genocidio — “Genocide”
  • Liberazione — “Liberation”
  • Ricordo — “Memory”
  • Forno crematorio — “Crematory oven”

If you would like to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, be sure to visit our International Holocaust Remembrance Day vocab list for Italy! There’s an audio file with each word to help you practice your pronunciation!

Conclusion

Now you know more about Holocaust Memorial Day in Italy, as well as information about the Italian Holocaust. What do you think about the Holocaust memorials in Italy? Does your country commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day? Let us know in the comments!

For even more information about the Italian culture and language, be sure to visit us at ItalianPod101.com! We offer several vocabulary lists on a range of topics, as well as fun and informative blog posts. You can even talk about what you’re learning with fellow Italian learners in our online community, and get a one-on-one learning experience with our MyTeacher app!

Keep up the hard work and let us be your guide for all things Italian. What are your Italian language-learning goals? Whatever they are, there’s a place for you to plug in at ItalianPod101.com. Join, and speak like a native before you know it!

How to Say Happy New Year in Italian & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Italian New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join ItalianPod101 for a special Italian New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Italian

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Italian? Let a native teach you! At ItalianPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Italian New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Italy
  2. Must-Know Italian Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Italian
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How ItalianPod101 Can Help You Learn Italian

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Italian New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Italy

Like in most Western countries, in Italy New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st. It’s a much anticipated event and usually a big party is organized with friends and family to welcome the new year, all while drinking and eating in abundance.

Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- Why do Italians want to eat as many lentils as possible on the first day of the year?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

New Year’s Eve in Italy begins with the celebration of “the night of San Silvestro,” the last evening of the previous year.

Usually Italians will organize a party with friends and family, or go out to the local square, where special events take place. For example, in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, a large straw puppet called Vecchione is built and burned at the stroke of midnight as a symbol of the year coming to an end. It’s destroyed with all its good and bad memories, just like the year coming to an end.During New Year’s Eve, people eat and drink a lot.

Many Italians like to wait up for the New Year and also watch “The Coming Year,” a great pop-music concert that is broadcast live on national TV. Through this program, you can listen to good music and make sure you don’t miss the countdown to midnight, when a bottle of champagne is uncorked for a toast and the fireworks get started. The next morning, almost all Italians sleep in then go directly to their parents’ house to enjoy a family lunch.

Each region has its own specialties, but no matter where you are in Italy the most important thing is to eat a rich and elaborate variety of dishes—for example, tortellini or lasagna for the first course and braised beef or sausage for the second. You have to sit at the table for almost the whole day to finish it all!

In Italy, it’s said that wearing red undergarments, possibly even some received as a gift from someone, brings good luck. This custom is actually very old, dating back to Roman times, when red was a symbol of prosperity.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know why the Italians want to eat lentils on the very first day of the year? It’s because Italians believe that for every lentil eaten, a person will get more money!

Happy New Year!
Felice Anno Nuovo!

2. Must-Know Italian Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Italian Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

anno

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Italy could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

mezzanotte

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Giorno di Capodanno

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

festa

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

ballo

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

champagne

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

fuoco d’artificio

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

conto alla rovescia

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Capodanno

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

coriandoli

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Vigilia di Capodanno

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

brindisi

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

proposito

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

sfilata

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At ItalianPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Italian New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Italian word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at ItalianPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Italian friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Leggere di più.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Italian in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Italian language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Trascorrere più tempo con la famiglia.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Dimagrire

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Risparmiare.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to ItalianPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Smettere di fumare.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Imparare qualcosa di nuovo.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Bere di meno.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Fare ginnastica regolarmente

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Mangiare sano.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Italian with ItalianPod101

Studiare italiano con ItalianPod101.com

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Italian, especially with us! Learning how to speak Italian can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. ItalianPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Italian new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Italian, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Italian incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with ItalianPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Italian could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Italian - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Italian - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with ItalianPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Italian! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that ItalianPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Italian at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Italian that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Italian with ItalianPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian

How to Say Merry Christmas in Italian

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian? ItalianPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Italian Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Italian speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, ItalianPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Italy
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How ItalianPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Italy

Christmas Words in Italian

Almost everyone is familiar with Christmas, but do you know that in Italy it’s the most important festival of the year?

Christmas is above all a Catholic festival; in fact, it coincides with the birth of Jesus Christ, but in reality the origins of this festival are much older. Today even non-believers celebrate it. In this lesson, we’ll talk about how Italians celebrate Christmas.

Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-

Do you know why the price of the fish increases dramatically before Christmas in Italy?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

In Italian homes, Christmas preparations begin long before December 25. It’s a tradition to start decorating the Christmas tree, whether its fake or real fir, from December 8. In many homes, mainly in southern Italy, families prepare a nativity scene representing the birth of Jesus in addition to the tree. There are various traditions for this, but the most famous is one from Naples. In Via San Gregorio Armeno, there is a permanent market with the nativity scene which can be visited all year.

Meanwhile, in many cities in northern Italy, Christmas markets are held from December 8 to January 6. Among the most famous are those of Trento and Bolzano, where you can buy decorations, gifts, and various kinds of sweets. Among the most traditional Christmas sweets is the torrone, which is simple but delicious, and made with egg whites, sugar, honey, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios.

For Italians, the most important moment of Christmas is the Christmas Eve dinner. Usually everyone goes back to their parents’ house to eat together and wait for midnight. Dinner almost always involves fish. The most typical dish is the codfish. Among the treats are panettone, a sweet bread from Milan, and pandoro, a sweet bread from Verona. Finally at midnight the exchange of the gifts under the Christmas tree takes place. Naturally, this is the moment Italian children are most eager for.

For many years Italians have also been very fond of the so-called “cine-panettone,” a comic film broadcast every year during the winter holidays.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know why the price of fish increases dramatically before Christmas in Italy?

It’s because everyone wants to eat it! In fact, according to Catholic tradition, it’s good to fast and especially to avoid eating meat on December 24 as a sign of respect for Jesus, who was born in poverty.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Buon Natale!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Felice Kwanzaa!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Passa un felice Anno Nuovo!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Felice Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Passa una bella vacanza invernale!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Ci vediamo l’anno prossimo!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

I miei più cari auguri!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Italian Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Buone vacanze!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Italian, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Godetevi le vacanze!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

I migliori auguri per il nuovo anno!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Italian! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At ItalianPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Natale

This is the Italian word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Italian will include this word!

2- Snow

pupazzo di neve

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

fiocco di neve

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

pupazzo di neve

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

tacchino

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

ghirlanda

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

renna

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Babbo Natale

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

elfo

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph la renna dal naso rosso

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

Polo Nord

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

slitta

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

regalo

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

campana

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

camino

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

caminetto

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Natale

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

decorazione

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

calza

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

agrifoglio

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

casa di marzapane

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

bastoncino di zucchero

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

vischio

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Italian, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Italian! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. ItalianPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit ItalianPod101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Italian for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Italian, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, ItalianPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Italian. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in ItalianPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

Italian Culture - Assumption Day/Assunzione or Ferragosto – Italian

Assumption Day/Assunzione or Ferragosto – Italian

Assumption Day observes that Mary, the mother of Jesus died and her body was united with her soul and ascended to heaven instead of enduring the physical decaying of the body through normal death. It has been a belief of the Roman Catholic faith since the fourth century CE and is celebrated as the Feast of Our Lady of the Harvest.

This day was once a pagan holiday until it was decided to be Christianized and make it solely about the Virgin Mary. Before, it was first celebrated in honor of the goddess of the Isis of the Sea who was said to be born on this particular day according to myths that have been spreading.

Ferragosto (Assumption Day) is celebrated on August 15th in Italy. The Italians will hold festivals locally throughout the cities where their regional and low priced cuisine is available for sampling. There are many who use this time to go on their seasonal vacations to the seaside where there are some festivals ongoing there. There are sometimes festivals with a medieval theme and people dressed in such costumes. Performances outdoor during that time is filled with music and dancing.

The Italians in Italy and all over the world go all out with their celebration with fireworks and bright processions in the streets. The main event on that day in Sicily, Rome is a bowing procession. The Virgin Mary’s statute is carried through the streets dressed with flowers and a statute of Jesus waits for her at a different location. The procession heads back to the church where an important benediction takes place.

In the past, people would flood the Italian plazas and go for carriage rides through lakes that were temporarily constructed. They would carry rose scented water in bowls that they use to sprinkle on themselves.

Italians extend their celebration to superstitious believe of throwing coins through their windows on to the streets. The color blue is used to symbolize the truth about the Virgin Mary and as an indication that the color of the sky is blue, which is symbolic also of heaven.

Italian Culture - Republic Day/Festa della Repubblica in Italy

Everyone knows how important holidays are especially when they symbolize a specific event in your life. In Italy, for example, there are people who experienced the change in their government and use this public holiday, Republic Day, as a reminder of how important that occasion is.

This holiday is also known as Festa della Repubblica and it was created after a referendum in 1946 was filed by the Italian government to change from being a Monarchy to becoming a Republic government. The House of Savoy ran the monarchy. The entire population of Italy was asked to vote on this referendum and the majority ruled.

The Italians celebrate this holiday on the second day of June each year and they treat it just as important as the United States treat their Fourth of July holiday. It is considered to be the National Holiday of Italy.

After World War II, the Italians saw the fall of Fascism take place in their country, which made it quite clear that the eighty five year old Monarchy government would fall with it. The Monarchs were exiled and a rebirth of a nation took place.

On June second of each year, the Italians hold a large military parade that takes up the streets of Central Rome. This event is attended by the Prime Minister of Italian and other Political dignitaries and authorities.

The holiday parade lasts for about an hour and ends with fighter jet planes flying over the area leaving a colorful smoke behind that represented the colors of the Italian flag. The parade consists of different military branches and personnel as well as firefighters, police and the Red Cross following behind the motorcade with the Italian President in it.

Italians look forward to celebrating the Republic Day every year because of the reminder of how fortunate and liberated they are today and how the past has shaped their country. When they look back at the Monarchy and its rule, fascism leaves a bad taste of the government rule at that time. Now that all that is behind them, Republic Day seems a welcomed change.