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Italian Holidays You Should Know About

November 13, 2020
Italians will always be the life of the party! They bring the energy, they bring the passion, and the bring love anywhere and everywhere. They're so lively and fun that it's almost weird that they come from a Roman Catholic country. However, of course, they're not like this all the time. Perhaps the most on their holidays, when the religious services are done and the feast begins. But what are these holidays, exactly? Well, Italy has a lot of them. Most are expectedly religious, while others commemorate important days in the country's history and heritage.
Italian Holidays You Should Know About


La Befana (January 6)

It's no surprise that Italy celebrates most, if not all religious holidays. From the feast days of saints to the notable days within Jesus Christ's life, they venerate all of them here. Though not all are considered public holidays. Only a handful are. One of the more unique ones is 'La Befana' or the Day of The Epiphany. It commemorates the day when the Three Wise Men finally met the baby Jesus after His birth. In other countries. this is called the 'Day of the Three Kings' or 'Day of The Magi.' And just like on Christmas, kids will find candies and toys in their stockings in the early morning of this holiday.


Easter Monday (Every March or April)

Similarly, while most other Christian countries just celebrate Easter Sunday, Italy is one of few countries—like France, the UK, and more—that also hold Easter Monday to great importance. Not only are Italian banks, government offices, and more closed during this day, but most Italian families meet up and reunite as well. Think of it as a long holiday to end the Lenten season. Though you might not see a lot holding Easter Egg Hunts, they do hear mass and special prayer services on this day. And, of course, gathering up around the dinner table to enjoy an authentic Italian feast.

Italian Holidays You Should Know About



Liberation Day (April 25)

Let's be clear: not all Italian holidays have to do with religion. There are some that have historic value than relating to the Christian faith. One good example is 'Festa della Liberazione,' or 'Liberation Day.' Held every April 25, it commemorates the liberation of Italy in World War II. At this historic conflict, the country became one of the Axis Powers, promoting fascism under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. It was only until the Allied Forces liberated the country from the fascist rule on April 25, 1945, that Italy became the republic it is now. And in 1946, a year alter, the holiday was officially established.


International Workers' Day (May 1)

Internationally known as Labor Day, Italy also celebrates this holiday to pay tribute to the many workers that run Italy. With so many people working in the country, most of whom help keep it running, it's only fair they get to have one day just to let them rest and enjoy life. And you know, in Italy, enjoying life is what they do best. Think drinking wine made from the best vineyards in Tuscany. Eating the best dishes from Sicily. And simply having a good time. That's how the Italians celebrate Labor Day here.

Italian Holidays You Should Know About



Republic Day (June 2)

'Festa della Repubblica,' or 'Republic Day,' is another national holiday that the Italians hold dear. It commemorates the day the country became a republic again. After the Allied Forces liberated the country from the fascist rule, June 2, 1946, saw the day Italy voted to become a republic. It became one of the historic events that really eradicated fascism from ever taking control of the government, and in turn, the country, again. So every June 2, most people get to stay at home, celebrate with a feast, and simply have a good time during this special day off.


Saint Stephen's Day (December 26)

Right after Christmas Day, the birth of Jesus Christ, many Catholic-dominated countries, including Italy, celebrate St. Stephen's Day on December 26. The first Christian martyr, many Christian nations hold this day with appropriate reverence. So while this is also an extra day off for many workers in Italy, they most hear mass or attend special prayer services on this holiday. You'll see most of the beautiful Italian churches filled with people, choirs singing hymns, families praying together, and more. It helps that it follows Christmas Day, so most Italians, while still on celebratory mode, are also still prayerful.

Italian Holidays You Should Know About


No one celebrates a holiday quite like the Italians. They hear mass, pray a lot, hold processions, parades, have a feast, reunite with friends and family, and simply have a good time! You'll know it if you're in Italy during any of these special national holidays.

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