Christmas Season

Today is December 8th, the day of the Immaculate Conception. Many Catholics celebrate it, but it's also the day which opens the Christmas season. Today Italians start to decorate their homes, prepare the Christmas tree and the nativity scene.
Honestly, I have already adorned my house with lots of coloured lights because I love the Hygge philosophy of northern Europe. However, I live in the most stressful region of Italy, and maybe that's why I like to surround myself with gentle lights and candles.
I love the word "cosy" that we cannot translate into Italian; or rather, in the dictionary you can find the italian word "accogliente" (welcoming) or "confortevole" (comfortable), but cosy is much more than that. It's a state of mind, a lifestyle.
But back to Christmas! In a few Italian cities, including mine, we celebrate Santa Lucia, the saint who protects blind people. It's an important day for children, who have to go to bed early, because they find lots of gifts when they wake up. Obviously, there are three other very important days: December 24, 25 and 26.
Yes, also on the 26th because it's St. Stephen’s Day, the first martyr saint, so for Catholics it is another holiday to remember. Another important day is the last day of the year celebrated all over the world. And and to finish the season, there is February 6th, Epiphany. The day of the Three Kings, but also the day of the Befana, an old woman who brings sweets and gifts to the good children and coal to the bad children.
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