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CVIII • N. 26 • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2016 • GIOVEDÌ 22 DICEMBRE 2016 FACEBOOK.COM/ITALOAMERICANONEWSPAPER italoamericano.org $ 2.25 D ATE D MATE RI AL - D O NO T D E LAY The Origins and Traditions of Christmas Celebrations in Italy C hristmas is a universal feast. It is the apogee of all year's celebrations for Christians all around the world; it is a time of love and warmth for everyone else. Regardless of your faith and beliefs, in the end, Christmas is truly one of the best times of the year. What do we really know, though, about the historical ori- gins of the feast? And have we ever wondered where and when, FRANCESCA BEZZONE Founded in 1908 Published by L'Italo American Foundation The #1 source for all things Italian since 1908 616 Foothill Blvd #D Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel: (626) 359-7715 . . .. . .. . . . . . LOS ANGELES Peppe Voltarelli sings Profazio Page 4 SAN FRANCISCO Bocconi University SF Chapter Page 8 NEW YORK Ancient Italian Folk Music Page 9 LA BUONA TAVOLA Lentils For Luck Pork For Plenty Page 19 Exploring Pistoia. The Italian Capital of Culture for 2017 PG.16 exactly, it was decided Christmas was to be celebrated the way we do? It may come as a surprise to know that, actually, Italy, its own heritage and history have a lot to do with it. Take a little step back in time and travel to the late years of the Roman Empire: it was a time when spirituality had assumed a varied nature and was no longer only and exclusively tied to the ancient pagan gods of the Roman pantheon. There was Christianity, of course, but many other spiritual traditions were practiced within the borders of the mighty Empire of the Eternal City. One of them was that of the god Mitra, divinity of middle eastern origins, worshipped espe- cially among soldiers and the Roman military. Mitra was a sun- god, symbol of power and gener- ating force. There were other gods symbolizing the same: Helios, for instance, or the Sirian El-Gabal, himself image of the sun. Why am I writing all this? New Year traditions in Italy Western Boots with Italian Roots: The Lucchese Boot Company PG. 15 PG. 11 PG. 23 PG. 2 L'EDITORIALE L'Italo Americano It was easy and clever for the Romans to associate Christmas, the new feast, with one already well established, the Sol Invictus, the official sun god and a patron of soldiers, (in the image above), celebrated on the 25th of December LIFE & PEOPLE LA VITA ITALIANA TRAVEL Q uanti buoni propositi avete per l'imminente 2017? Noi moltissimi! Non è ancora terminato questo impegnativo anno che, grazie a Buoni propositi per il 2017? Ci stiamo già rimboccando le maniche

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