Posted by: dreamitalia | December 11, 2008

Immaculate Conception: Start of Christmas Season in Italy – December 8

Words by Michelle Fabio, Italy Magazine

Although in other countries, you might begin to hear Christmas carols at the end of November, in Italy, holiday celebrations begin on 8 December with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary or L’Immacolata Concezione della Beata Vergine Maria.

The day is marked with beautiful, elaborate, and emotionally charged processions throughout Italy. Moreover, as 8 December is a public holiday with most people off from work, it is also the day when many Italians put up Christmas trees and other holiday decorations.

Click here to read the entire article and view several videos of Festival processions. http://italymag.co.uk/italy-featured/guarda/immaculate-conception-start-christmas-season-italy 

And be sure to check out Cherrye Moore’s Celebrating Christmas in Italy series over at My Bella Vita http://my-bella-vita.com/2008/12/10/celebrating-christmas-in-italy-christmas-day-menu-traditions/, where she writes about the Procession:

You might be interested to note that it is the conception OF Mary, not Mary’s conception of Jesus that Catholics celebrate on this day.

According to FishEaters.com the day refers to the conception of Mary in her mother, Saint Anne, by Mary’s father, Saint Joachim. The reason her conception is immaculate isn’t because she was conceived by the Holy Spirit like Jesus was, but because she has been filled with the grace of God since her conception.

Immaculate Conception of Mary Procession

Immaculate Conception of Mary Procession
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