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Ten traditions that make an Italian Christmas

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Ten traditions that make an Italian Christmas
If you're in Italy this December, you may come across some unusual traditions that come from the home of the Catholic Church. Colosseum photo: Shutterstock
17:00 CET+01:00
Did you know that cannons are fired in Rome to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, or that Italians ski down the slopes bearing flaming torches each Christmas Eve? For details of these and other festive traditions, check out The Local's list.

Wonder why Italians eat fish on Christmas eve instead of meat? Or why some of them forego food entirely on December 24th?

If you're in Italy this December, you may come across some unusual traditions that come from the home of the Catholic Church.

Those in Rome will hear cannons being fired from the city's Castel Sant'Angelo, marking the birth of baby Jesus. In some parts of Italy, shepherds come down from the mountains to play music in local squares.

To find out more about these unique Christmas traditions, check out our top ten picks.

IN PICTURES: Ten traditions that make an Italian Christmas

Christmas photo by Shutterstock

Christmas photo by Shutterstock.

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