Want to learn more about Christmas in Italy, Sulmona? Read on for facts and info on this Italian town famous for its Christmas celebrations…
Located at the foot of the Maiella Massif, Sulmona occupies a strategic location, which was once the site of rivers that flowed into Gizio. Sulmona is today known as a commercial center that is heavily involved in agricultural activities. The region is famous for confetti, its goldsmith traditions and the manner in which it celebrates Christmas.
Sulmona is an ancient region and mention of a city by the same name can be found in many historical records dating back to the Roman times. The landscape of Sulmona is dotted with many medieval monuments in the form of cathedrals and tombs dating back as early as the 15th century. It is amazing to find these monuments still standing as the region has been hit by severe earthquakes over time. Among the popular sites is a Byzantine sculpture known as the Lady with the Child. The palace of the Annunziata and the Civic Museum are also worth seeing.
The church of Santa Maria Annunziata is another historic building in Sulmona famous for its majestic bell tower. It is here where the annual Christmas festival is celebrated. The tradition of Christmas celebration dates back to many centuries following the advent of Christianity in this part of the world. Sulmona hosts an international exhibition of Artistic Creches every Christmas at the church of Santa Maria Annunziatta.
Christmas celebrations in this part of Italy are strikingly different from what you may find in other regions. In its essence the celebrations in Sulmona retain the spirit of the religion and all celebrations are centered upon visiting the church. Even the annual festival is held at the church building so as to bring the masses to the house of traditional Christian worship.
This region is also famous for another festival that is celebrated in honor of Easter, known as the “Madonna che Scappa”. This is a historic tradition that has been preserved until today. The location of the festival is the Piazza Garibaldi where it kicks off early on Easter morning. The processions during the festival include the carrying of the statue of Madonna, which is covered in a black robe from the location of Sulmonachurch of San Filippo Neri. Young men carry the statue on their shoulders up until midday. At this point they start a powerful run towards the statue of Christ. The black robe is removed upon reaching its location. This whole procession is regarded to have symbolic meaning and there are many mythological beliefs associated with this whole process. This includes the changing of seasons and getting the predictions regarding next year’s harvest.
Also part of the Christmas and Easter celebrations in Sulmano are reenactments of scenes from the Middle Ages. This is perhaps the most entertaining aspect for visitors to the region during this period of the year. More than 500 costumed characters participate in these reenactments, which render an account of the history of the region.