Christmas in Italy. In Italy, the Christmas season is from December 17 -January 6th, but decorations start going up as early as December 8 th.
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Eight days before Christmas the children dress up as shepherds and go from house to house singing Christmas songs and reciting poetry. Here they receive money to buy Christmas presents.
On Christmas Eve they follow a strict 24 hour fast where they do not eat meat. Children also write letters to their parents explaining how much they love them (instead of writing letters to Santa) and are read on Christmas Eve.
The cake that is eaten is called panettone (on the left) which contains raisins and candied fruit. The other cake they eat is called pandoro (on the right).
Children normally do not receive presents until January 6th. On this day an ugly and kind witch named Befana puts presents in children’s stockings.