Christmas in Ireland

15 01 2009

Christmas in Ireland lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany on january 6, which is referred to as Little Christmas. Ireland’s Christmas is more religious than a time of fun.

 

Lighted candles are placed in windows on Christmas Eve, as a guide that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. The candles are usually red in color, and decorated with sprigs of holly. The lighting of candles in Ireland has a religious significance. Some people would light candles (or one large candle) to signify symbolic hospitaly for Mary and Joseph. And some people even set extra places at their tables as preparation for unexpected visitors.

 

Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. They also make three puddings, one for each day of the Epiphany such as Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Twelfth Night.

Christmas dinners in Ireland usually consist of the standard fare; turkey, a ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, ect. Among the more traditional Irish elements are spiced beef (spiced over several days, cooked, and then pressed) which can be served either hot or cold. The traditional dessert is usually composed of mince pies, Christmas pudding, and brandy or rum sauce.

 

After the Christams evening meal, bread and milk are left out and the door unlatched as a symbol of hospitaly.

 



Christmas in Italy

15 01 2009

 

Christmas in Italy





The christmas season in Italy lasts three weeks., starting 8 days before the nigth of Christmas. In Italy Christmas is called Novena. Christmas has got 2 origins for italian people as everywhere in the world : the tradition of christianity & a pagan tradition: the Roman « Saturnalia » ( a winter solstis celebration), coincides with the Christmas celebration of the Advent.On christmas eve the dinner is called cenone which is a dish of eel ( anguilles) . The traditionnal dessert is called panettone , it is a Milanese cake. The Cribs in Italy have got a real importance for christians. They consist of figurines, in clay or plaster, of the infant Jesus, Mary & Joseph. On christmas Eve, Italian children set out their shoes for la Befana . She is the female Santa Claus. They all get gift but if they are bad their shoes are filled with coal.