8 December: day of lights and colors.
Anna Maria Tardiolo- In the Italian tradition, on December 8, the houses are filled with lights and colors. Christmas decorations invade the spaces of the houses. On the furniture, on the floor, on the sofas you can see festoons, bright colored balls, star-shaped tips, red, golden or silver ribbons, garlands and long indeed very long strings of lights. Everything, waiting to be suitably placed on the branches of the Christmas trees that after an exhausting metaphorical ballet from one side of the apartment to the other finally manage to find their place more due to their tiredness, perhaps, than due to a real decision of the owners. home. From 8 the countdown to Christmas begins. At the end of the day, everything must be ready to reach this moment.
The gifts will begin to pile up under the tree and enthusiasm will grow with each new addition. At the same time, in families with a Catholic tradition, the nativity scene is also set up. It too will surely have suffered the same fate as the tree before finding its final arrangement which it will keep until 7 January. As Christmas approaches, each character will advance a little to be completed on January 6 with the inclusion of the Magi. The joyful, festive atmosphere pervades every part of society on this day. The shop windows come alive with colored lights, fake snow, elves and sledges. Inside the premises and offices, magnificent and elegant Christmas trees can be glimpsed. Cities come alive. In some areas of Italy such as Caltabellotta, Sicily, December 8 is characterized by a particular tradition that sees at the end of the procession in honor of the Immaculate Conception, the burning of a puppet, lu diavulazzu, as a symbol of victory. good over evil.
In most Italian cities, however, on this day the lights that will embellish the streets and squares and the long-awaited Christmas tree come on. As in the best tradition, Rome too has turned on its lights and its tree. This year it is not called “Spelacchio”, the tree which has now become famous throughout the world for its appearance; nor “Spezzacchio” the tree lit the following year whose many branches had broken. The former “Spelacchio” as the fir from the Caucasus has been nicknamed, the first of the era of the new mayor Gualtieri, arrived on November 30th and was set up last weekend. Perfectly in time for Mayor Gualtieri’s ignition on the afternoon of 8 December. Despite the rain when the lights were turned on, the magical atmosphere that many Romans and tourists from all over the world could breathe was not clouded. 25 meters high, it stands out from this evening with its colorful balls and bright lights in the center of the flowerbed in Piazza Venezia, as always. At the foot of it 17 gift boxes. This year the exhibition was curated by the FAO and with this gesture the United Nations organization wanted to symbolize the objectives for the achievement of a better world to which 193 countries have committed themselves by 2030: poverty, zero hunger, health , well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean and accessible energy, decent work and economic growth and reducing inequalities …