21 Sep 4 Odd Italian Traditions To Experience
Just as many countries all over the world have their own customs and traditions, Italy has several to celebrate and take part in each year. Some of these traditions have been upheld for centuries and play large roles in the Italian community. These traditions usually include a large party and celebration within the towns.
Similar to the tale of Santa Claus, the Italian’s have their own tradition of La Befana. On the eve of the epiphany, the 5th January, La Befana, the ‘Christmas Witch’ brings presents to good children who leave out shoes or socks to be filled. Just as the tale of Santa Claus, bad children will receive a lump of coal in lieu of presents. La Befana is known in Italy as the “kindly, good Witch”.
Ballo della Pupa
This is a typical tradition throughout Southern Italy, in which the participants create a mannequin of a woman which has a hole in the bottom for a dancer to position themselves inside. Once inside the mannequin and taking part in the festivities, the women wearing mannequins will begin to dance whilst fireworks, which are attached to the exterior of the mannequin are set on fire.
Of course this isn’t an activity we would recommend replicating at home, but it would definitely be a sight to see!
This tradition dates back to the 1500’s, the tradition of the ‘flying angel’ at the Venice Carnevale is still carried out to this day. Each year, a woman is chosen to play the role of the flying angel and is dressed in a lavish costume before jumping off the top of the bell tower in Piazza San Marco, attached only by a harness. The woman then ‘flies’ over the heads of thousands celebrating in Piazza San Marco.
This Italian tradition originated in Florence during the Renaissance and is a sporting event which lasts 50 minutes. The game has been described to be a combination of football, hockey and rugby which is played whilst wearing Renaissance fair costumes. The prize for the winning team used to be a Chianina, which is a type of cow, however, this has now been reduced to a free dinner.
Traditional Italian Food
Although Knutsford may not have Renaissance sporting events, flying angels or a Christmas Witch, it does have some delicious traditional Italian food at Giovanni’s! Our delicious authentic Italian dishes will make you feel as though you have been taken to Italy.
Come and join us for an incredible meal at Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, we’re located at 125A King Street, Knutsford, WA16 6EH just down the road from the stunning Tatton Park. Make a reservation online or call us on 01565 632 576.