During the month of February in Italy people celebrate Carnevale.
Carnival literally translated means "no meat" and are the traditional Christian celebrations and feast right before the start of the Christian period of Lent (six weeks period before Easter during which one maintains a frugal diet).
Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up and wear masks.
Very famous Carnivals in Italy are Carnevale di Venezia, Carnevale di Viareggio and Carnevale di Ivrea.
Carnervale di Venezia is very famous around the world; it is common for people to attend the Carnival wearing elaborate costumes and distinctive masks.
Carnevale di Ivrea is famous for its Battle of Oranges ( battaglia delle arance)
Today in Italy is a national holiday as we celebrate the Epiphany which commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men delivered the gifts to Baby Jesus.
This celebration includes the tale of a witch, La Befana, who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5 and fills the stockings with toys and sweets for the good children and coal for the naughty ones.
According to the legend, the night before the Wise Men arrived at the manger they stopped at the shack of an old woman to ask directions. They invited her to come along but she replied that she was too busy. Then a shepherd asked her to join him but again she refused. Later that night, she saw a great light in the sky and decided to join the Wise Men and the shepherd bearing gifts that had belonged to her child who had died. She got lost and never found the manger.
La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!
The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!
The 15th of August in Italy is a public day and we celebrate Ferragosto. I love this day, probably because it is on my favorite season of the year, but also because it brings me back in time with beautiful memories of my youth when I used to be at the sea with my family! We used to go to “Romagna” in the Adriatic in a place called Cesenatico. I spent great holidays there and certainly not because of the beautiful beaches or sea (I still remember the smell of the seaweed, yuck); it was more about the atmosphere, the people, the games with my new friends and the first nights out, when a little bit older, mum and dad used to let me go out till midnight! WoW!! I even gave my first kiss in Cesenatico!! Yury….Okay,okay now I am probably giving too many details! :-) What I want to talk about is Ferragosto and the reason why we celebrate it! I am sure that if you asked to 10 Italians the meaning of this day, just 1 or 2 people would give you the right answer! Quite bad really, particularly considering it is a religious festivity and we are a Catholic country!
So, what is Ferragosto?
On this day we commemorate the ”Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the real physical elevation of her sinless soul and incorrupt body, into Heaven”. This day was proclaimed by Papa Pio XII in the 1950. I am not sure about the reason why He picked this day but we can go back a bit more in the past and see that this day has also a pagan origin; infect, the name Ferragosto derives from its original Latin name Feriae Augusti ("Festivals of the Emperor Augustus") and it was not just a day celebration but the entire month that Augustus proclaimed as the month of leisure.
I find extremely interesting to see that we have retained such an old tradition and that for us August is still the “holiday month”. I guess Augustus is a real example of a great man who knew how to build an empire but also knew how to enjoy life! Bravo Cesare!!!
Happy Anniversary Italia!!
Today Italy is 150 years old!
In 1861, after the wars waged against the Austrians and once the Garibaldi expedition to Sicily was completed, the long period of political and military fights leading Italy to unification was over. On the 17th March of that year the national unity was proclaimed in Torino, which became the first capital city of Italy.
During the Risorgimento, the city took in the exiles from all over the country. They had developed a common unitarian aspiration and here they designed the political strategy that would result into the unification of the country.
Therefore, the new history of Italy, indipendent and united, initiated from Torino on the 17th March one and a half century ago.
The city would be the capital for four years until 1865, when the centrality of the Government of the Kingdom moved to Florence. Rome became the final capital city, from 1871, when the unification of the country was fully completed.
In 1911 and 1961, on the occasion of the Fiftieth anniversary and the Centennial of national unification, Torino became again the core of the country: the grand celebrations taking place there for the two anniversaries drew over 6 million visitors each.
In 2011 Italy will celebrate 150 years and, once again, Torino is going to celebrate the anniversary with a magnificent event. Read it in Italian here below.
150' Anniversario Unita' d'Italia
Oggi l'Italia compie 150 anni!
Nel 1861, dopo le guerre contro gli Austriaci e conclusa la spedizione di Garibaldi in Sicilia, termina il lungo periodo di lotta politica e militare che conduce l’Italia all’unificazione. Il 17 marzo di quell’anno a Torino viene proclamata l’unità nazionale e la città diventa la prima capitale d’Italia.
Durante il Risorgimento aveva accolto tutti gli esuli che, giunti da ogni parte della penisola, avevano maturato una comune aspirazione unitaria e qui era stata elaborata la strategia politica che avrebbe portato all’unificazione.
La nuova storia dell’Italia, indipendente e unita, parte quindi da Torino il 17 marzo di un secolo e mezzo fa. La città resta capitale per quattro anni, fino al 1865, quando la centralità del governo del Regno si sposta a Firenze. La sede viene stabilita a Roma a partire dal 1871, quando l’unificazione del Paese è ormai definitivamente completata.
Nel 1911 e nel 1961, in occasione del Cinquantenario e del Centenario dell'unificazione nazionale, Torino torna ad essere il centro del Paese: le grandiose celebrazioni che vi si tengono per i due anniversari attraggono oltre 6 milioni di visitatori ciascuna.
Nel 2011 l'Italia compie 150 anni e anche questa volta Torino festeggia l’anniversario con un grande evento.
Check all the events happenin in Turin from March till November at http://eng.italia150.it/
Today is the 100th anniversary of the International women's day celebreted in many countries of the world including Italy.
This day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women for the first time protested against working conditions. During this strike a fire killed 129 women who were blocked inside the factory.
An interesting fact for all Australians is that the flower symbol of this day in Italy is the wattle ( Mimosa) and men usually buy this flower for their women colleagues, wives, daughter and friends.
Test your Italian reading an Italian article about the Women's Day here below
L'origine della Festa dell'8 Marzo risale al 1908, quando un gruppo di operaie di una industria tessile di New York scioperò come forma di protesta contro le terribili condizioni in cui si trovavano a lavorare.
Lo sciopero proseguì per diverse giornate ma fu proprio l'8 Marzo che la proprietà dell'azienda bloccò le uscite della fabbrica, impedendo alle operaie di uscire dalla stessa.
Un incendio ferì mortalmente 129 operaie, tra cui anche delle italiane, donne che cercavano semplicemente di migliorare la propria qualità del lavoro.
Tra di loro vi erano molte immigrate, tra cui anche delle donne italiane che, come le altre, cercavano di migliorare la loro condizione di vita. L'8 marzo assunse col tempo un'importanza mondiale, diventando il simbolo delle vessazioni che la donna ha dovuto subire nel corso dei secoli e il punto di partenza per il riscatto della propria dignità.
L'8 Marzo è quindi il ricordo di quella triste giornata.
Non è una "festa" ma piuttosto una ricorrenza da riproporre ogni anno come segno indelebile di quanto accaduto il secolo scorso.
Looking forward to go to Italy? Don’t wait any longer. On Sunday 13th La Dolce Vita is in Sydney!
Your Italian Tutors Jessica and Carlo, and their parents Rosario and Salvina currently visiting from Italy, are going to the ``Italian Festa Celebrations`` at Wentworth Point. An outstanding exhibition of the Italian lifestyle is awaiting us: a display of Italian luxury cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, Pizza competitions, reconstructions of Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, stalls selling Italian food such as gelato, cheese, wines, olives.
It will be a valuable opportunity to immerse yourself into a unique atmosphere, meet lots of Italians and even practice the language!
For further information: http://www.bestrestaurants.com.au/food-events-australia/italian-festa-wentworth-point.aspx
Italian Christmas Food and Drink
Catholic Italians celebrate Christmas as a “day of abstinence", on Christmas Eve the family eats a meatless dinner that traditionally it followed by a living nativity scene and midnight mass. In some parts of southern Italy on Christmas Eve is served a seven fishes dinner known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes or La Vagilia. The most significant meal of the Christmas Day is the lunch or il pranzo. In the northern Italy dishes such as:
The "Saturnalia", the greatest feast of the ancient Roman Empire coincide with the Christmas celebrations of the Advent, is for this reason that not only celebrates the birth of Christ but also the birth of the "Unconquered Sun" . The meaning of "Natale" is "Birthday" in English. Officially, the Italian Christmas celebrations start on 8th December with the L'Immacolata Concezione or the Immaculate Conception’s Day and lasts until January 6th. The "Novena” starts on 17th December and during this time the children go home by home reciting Christmas passages.
Actually, Italian children write letters to Santa Claus or Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) asking for presents, but traditionally in Italy the main day for gift giving is Epiphany, these presents are brought by La Befana, a kindly old witch who fill children's stockings in the night with sweets or i dolciumi if they have been good or with coal or il carbone if they have been bad. Santa Lucia is who brings the gifts in Venice and Mantova while in other places is the Baby Jesus or Gesu' Bambino who brings the presents. The children also write to their parent to let know how much they love them, this letter is placed under their father's plate who read it at the end of the Christmas Eve dinner.
Among the traditions, customs and other rituals typical of Christmas season are:
All Beginners 1 Discovering Italy Early Bird Offer Feste And Events Funny Videos Hsc Students HSC Students (material And Activities) Interesting Stuff Italian Cities Italian Film Festival Italian For Children Italian Grammar Italian Language History Jessica's Life And Thoughts Music Videos In Italian