Blog > CHRISTMAS IN VENICE
Even in Venice, as you know, Christmas is celebrated as in all the world.
It wasn’t always like that. In the past, in fact, children did not wait for Santa Claus but rather the "Marantega" (from the Latin mater antiqua) today better known by the name of Befana, that in the night, or rather, at the stroke of midnight between 5 and 6 January brought them some candy or toy... For the more mischievous children instead, a few pieces of coal and ash.
The origins of the legend of the Befana are not clear, it certainly descends from the popular Christian tradition. It is said that on the journey to Bethlehem from the Child Jesus, the Magi Baldassarre, Gasparre and Melchiorre, asked for directions on the way to be followed by an old woman along the road, who pointed them the way. The Magi invited her to continue with them, but she refused. When the 3 Magi left, the old lady repented and started looking for them, carrying a bag full of sweets. He started knocking on all the doors of the houses, giving every child a cake hoping to meet the Baby Jesus.
On January 6 to celebrate the Epiphany do not miss the traditional "Regatta of the Epiphanies", a costume regatta along the Grand Canal. The Regatta starts in front of Palazzo Dolfin (Rialto), the residence of the last Doge and current seat of the Bank of Italy.
It was not tradition to prepare the Christmas tree with a thousand lights and decorations. In Venice, in every noble or poor house was built the NATIVITY SCENE that was to represent the nativity with the imagination of young and old. When I was little, there was not all the technology of today, the crib was built with houses made of cardboard or wood, we used a mirror for the pond and went crazy to place the bonfire of the shepherds... It all depended on where the red light of the colored lights was located :-)
In the Basilica of San Marco or in the Basilica dei Frari you can admire two beautiful representations of the Nativity. In Burano instead emerges from the waters a suggestive artisan crib.
Every year during the Christmas holidays in Campo San Polo is set up an ice rink and the city begins to light up with lots of colorful lights. It’s really impressive to walk around the city to St Mark’s Square and admire the wonderful Christmas tree.
If you are in Venice and want to give something Made in Venice to your loved ones here are some ideas:
A nice pair of Furlane that you can buy from PIEDATERRE
A good bag of zaeti and buranei, typical Venetian biscuits. You can buy them from Rosa Salva, Tonolo, Dal Mas. Inside the chocolate Dal Mas you can find many Christmas chocolates of various shapes.
A Venetian Mask by Bottega dei Mascareri
A precious gift in Murano glass from Rialto79
MyAQUAbottle an artistic bottle Made in Venice
Some typical Burano lace from Fabris near the Rialto Bridge