Books, art, literature Italian language Sicilian culture

8th of December: let’s put the Christmas decorations on!

In Sicily, Christmas decorations are traditionally put on the 8th of December and in a little village close to Trapani, people go far beyond a Christmas Tree.

The 8th of December is the day in which traditionally all the Christmas decorations are put on in Sicily. This day is known as the Immaculate Conception (Immacolata Concezione) and it is a national festivity in all Italy.

If you find yourself to be in Sicily during Christmas time, a visit to the living nativity scene of Custonaci is well worth.


Photo credits: “Presepe Vivente di Custonaci” by Emanuele Bellini is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo credits:“Grotta Mangiapane – 31” by Jim Waddington is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The scene takes place in a prehistoric cave, inhabited till recent times. Such a suggestive place that is has been chosen as cinematographic set in several occasions.

Andrea Camilleri set one of his most famous Inspector Montalbano’s books in this cave, giving a vivid description of it: The Snack Thief.

If you want more info about this event, you can visit the Presepe di Custonaci’s website. It’s written in Italian, but there are lots of pics to look at.

Some Christmas vocabulary for you:

Natale = Christmas
Notte di Natale = Christmas night
Presepe = Nativity
Buon Natale = Merry Christmas


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