Gennaio gennaio 1st People get up late, because they went to bed late the night before to celebrate the last day of the year. They have a big dinner, a variety of courses, which are different according to the regional tradition. On this day people usually stay at home with the family. 6th This festivity is much loved by children, they wait for this old lady to come during the night. Before going to bed they put or hang their stockings somewhere in the house. The “Befana” will fill them with gifts and sweets. In case of naughty children she will bring coal. Febbraio febbraio 14th On this day partners and lovers spend more time together and exchange presents and cards.Lots of sweets and chocolate ‘baci’are eaten. It starts soon after the 6th of January. The day of the biggest celebrations is “Shrove Tuesday”, just before the Ash Wednesday. There are cities, such as Venezia, Milano, Viareggio and many others where there are parades of floats and people dressed up with fancy costumes. Carnival is much fun for adults and children. We eat special cakes, with different names according to the region: ”frappe, galani, crostoli”. Marzo m a r zo 8th ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ On this day many young, and not so young, women take part in demonstrations and get together usually in the evening to have dinner at the restaurant or at a pizzeria. It is a day of memory and fun. Women are given a special yellow flower, mimosa. 19th It is Saint Joseph’s feast and children have parties for their father and give him presents and cakes. Aprile aprile Students have a holiday week. Some people celebrate this festivity at home with the family. Proverb: Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi! For Christmas stay with your family, for Easter stay with the people you want! We eat the Easter “colomba” and chocolate eggs. In Rome many people have a very big traditional breakfast: salami, ham, special cake with cheese, boiled eggs. On Easter Monday many people go out of their town to have a short trip in the country, on the bank of a river or by a lake to have picnics. 25th It is a public holiday. We celebrate the day, 25th April 1945, in which during the second world war Italy was freed from Mussolini’s dictatorship, with the help of the “Resistance”, put up by the partisans, who fought against fascism. This festivity was called ”Festa della Liberazione”, Liberation Day, which has recently changed into”Festa della Libertà”, Freedom Day. Maggio maggi o 1st People do not work, students do not go to school, all shops, banks and offices are closed. It is a day of rest and peace for everybody. Many people go to the country, to a river bank or by a lake to have picnics. There is the tradition to eat something different or special: in Rome many people have raw broad beans with ‘pecorino’ (sheep’s milk cheese) and drink wine. It takes place the second Sunday of May. Children visit their mother, stay longer with her, give present and flowers. There is much love on this day. Giugno giugno Half Middle of June For many students school finishes, for other students exams start …….. The 2nd On the 2nd of June 1946 the Italians were called to choose between Monarchy and Republic with a Referendum. 54% of the electors voted for the Republic and 46% for the Monarchy. On the second of June we still celebrate the birth of the Italian Republic. It is a public holiday and there are colourful parades of the Armed Forces. Luglio luglio Agosto agosto 15th It is a religious celebration, the Virgin’s Assumption, but for many people it is the biggest summer festivity. People are usually on holiday, they get together with relatives and friends to have a very big dinner, if they are at the seaside dinner is on the beach. There is also the tradition to go to the beach in the evening, light fires, have a midnight swim and a lot of fun all night long and sleep in the open air. There are also fireworks. Settembre settembre In Italy school starts a few days before or after midseptember, this depends on the region. Ottobre ottobre 31st …… There are no particular celebrations or events in this month. For a few years some people have started to celebrate Halloween on the 31st October, but this festivity does not belong to the Italian culture. Lots of cakes are sold and young people have parties wearing fancy dresses. Novembre novembre 1st and 2nd It’s a time of prayer, religious devotion, visits to cemeteries. People take flowers, mostly crysanthemums to their dear ones’ tombs and pray for their peace. In some places there is also fun, stalls in the streets and gifts and cakes for children. Dicembre dicembre 8th It is a holy day, in which people go to church and pray the Virgin. Schools, offices and banks are closed, but many shops are open because Christmas rush is getting near. The students have a long break from school usually from the 22nd to the 7th of January. In this time there are celebrations like in many other countries of Europe and of the world. 24th Many people go the midnight service after a special dinner with fish. After midnight Christmas presents are given and opened. 25th People go to church for Christmas service. Families get together for the whole day; there is a very big and delicious lunch which is regionally different. Almost each family eat “Panettone, pandoro and torrone”. 26th • It is a religious feast. 31st For many people this is the most loved day of the year, a day of joy and amusement. To celebrate the end of the year there are big dinners with special courses, dancing, music, a lot happiness, “panettone” and champagne. Some people spend a few days in the mountains to ski.