4 weeks before Christmas Religious – National There are no special celebrations, but during the last days of Advent pifferari, or bagpipe players coming from Calabria, Molise, Abruzzo and other regions play the bagpipes in the streets. ADVENT
December 7th – 8th IMMACOLATA (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) The day before, December 7, is a day of fasting, which ends in the evening with a dinner where seven different courses are served. By the IMMACOLATA the Christmas trees and Cribs are ready. Religious – National
NATALE (Christmas) December 24th-26th People go to Mass, there are big lunches and dinners, children open their presents. On 26th bonfires are lit up in the streets to warm the Holy Child. Usually on 25th, 26th, 1st Jan. and 6th Jan. some towns organize Living Cribs in areas of natural or archaeological interest. Religious – National
EPIFANIA January 6th On the night of 5th children wait for an old witch who comes flying on a broom and fills stockings with presents. (Epiphany ) Religious – National
People wearing funny costumes sing, dance and play tricks in the streets. Many italian cities, Venice, Viareggio, Putignano, are famous for their Carnival parades with big decorated carriages. On Ash Wednesday La Quaremma (The Lent) a puppet representing an old and ugly woman, can be seen hanging, e.g., from some windows to remind people to do penance. February CARNEVALE (Carnival)
This is Manduria Patron Saints feast, but every Italian town celebrates its Patron Saint with street band concerts, fun fairs, stalls along the floodlit streets and fireworks. SAN GREGORIO (St. Gregory the Great) March 12th Religious - Local
(The Ugly Fair) Our Fiera Pessima is an important trade fair and takes its name from the bad weather conditions that usually characterize the whole week. Non Religious - Local FIERA PESSIMA March 8th-12th
Statues representing the crucial moments of the Passion are taken in procession along the city streets on Good Friday. On Saturday evening, people go to Mass, usually at midnight; on Sunday families enjoy big lunches and parents and relatives give children chocolate eggs with a surprise inside. PASQUA (Easter) Religious –National April
Summer is a great time for outdoor music and performing arts festivals all over Italy. Food festivals are held in small towns and villages. They attract not only tourists, but also families, teenagers, senior citizens, all enjoying dinner together. Typical food and local wine are free or reasonably priced. Music, games and vendors selling toys, sweets and worthless merchandise often accompany the festivals and celebrations. SAGRE ESTIVE (Summer Festivals) Non Religious -Regional
Charming processions by boat are organized by all sea towns. FESTA DELLASSUNTA (Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) August 15th Religious -National
LA NOTTE DELLA TARANTA (The Night of the Tarantula festival) August 25th Non Religious -Regional The festival aims at recovering the tradition of pizzica salentina, a traditional Salentine folk music, and combining it with other musical styles. It takes place in the towns of Grecia Salentina(Salentine Greece) in August and lasts for about one month, the last and most important day being the 25th, when the concert starts in the evening and finishes at dawn.
On the eve and on St.Martins day people taste vino novello (new wine) and eat caldarroste (roast chestnuts). November 9th, 10th, 11th are called St. Martins Summer, because the sun rays often warm up the air bearing witness to the legend of the Saints cloak. SAN MARTINO (Saint Martins day) November 11th Religious – Non Religious /National
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