Christmas Traditions of the Sicilian Culture
Christmas is such a special time of the year, filled with family, friends, food, and festivities. Everyone has their traditions for the holidays, whether it’s getting the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, listening to Christmas music 24/7, or cooking those secret family recipes made for the holidays.
The Sicilian culture has their own set of traditions for the holiday season as well. Here are some Sicilian traditions that are practiced each year.
- Families start decorating their homes and celebrating Christmas around December 8. Nativity scenes are also set up, as is the widespread custom.
- Serious eating begins on Christmas Eve, December 24, and tends to continue for 24 hours. Sweets and desserts are of upmost importance.
- Presents are opens after the Christmas Eve dinner.
- Traditionally, lasagna is supposed to bring good luck, and is the main course at the New Year’s dinner, the following week. And at midnight, Spumate is opened to ring in the New Year.
- The end of Christmas comes on Epiphany, January 6.
Many traditional Sicilian recipes are made during this time of the year as well.
- Sfincione: pizza dough covered with tomato sauce, onions, sardines, “caciocavallo” cheese, breadcrumbs, and olive oil
- Cobaita: a nougat made with honey and sesame seeds, or walnuts and almonds
- Nugatoli: cookies stuffed with chopped almonds, chopped pistachios, and cinnamon
- Cosi Chini: pastries stuffed with dried figs and almonds
- Buccellati: pastries stuffed with dried figs, raisins, almonds, walnuts, pine seeds, sugar, and candied orange peel
Every culture has their own traditions during the holiday. These are just a few from the Sicilian culture. What are some traditions you celebrate in your family? Share them with us!
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