For Catholics, the day celebrates the Virgin Mary being born free of the original sin that has afflicted mankind.
The feast day is a national holiday and a holy day of obligation in Italy. Government offices, banks, schools and post offices are closed and Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary by attending Holy Mass at their favorite church.
credit: Italian Language blog
But, it doesn't stop there; it's also the day for setting up the nativity scene, putting up the Christmas tree and stringing up the holiday lights. And, let's not forget shopping! Many shops are open, decorated and welcoming in holiday shoppers.
The day is also celebrated by emotional processions, parades, fireworks, lighting of the traditional bonfire and...holiday foods.
December 8th, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is a day of celebrating the blessed Virgin Mary, but is especially a day for being with family and enjoying the love and joy of the holiday together.
What a wonderful and special day to be in Italy!
Watch this beautiful video of The Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Naples, Italy!
And...A musical Christmas in Italy video.
Ciao e Buon Natale!
- Nina Spitzer
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