Let's go to Christmas markets, but on the right date
Christmas traditions and legends: NORTHERN ITALY: SAN NICHOLAS AND THE KRAMPUSES
At last I went to see my friends in Bolzano .. I had not seen them for a long time.. and this is when I discover something I had never heard about! It is well known that the Christmas markets of Northern Italy draw flocks of tourists: there you can see a lot of local craftsmanship, you can have the traditional “Vin Brulé”.. but go there on 5th or 6th December or close to these dates and you will be delighted to have a surprise waiting for you..
On 6th December, San Nicholas is celebrated on the international scale. He gives away sweets to good children along the streets, but before that, on the night of 5th December, Krampuses or Christmas Devils walk fiercely along the streets looking for naughty boys and girls! In the whole range of the Alps, in German-speaking places (in Italy, in Trentino Alto Adige, Trieste, Gorizia, Friuli and Istria, In Europe, in Salzburg, in Bavaria, in Switzerland and in Holland) these enraged devils/ he-goats, wearing huge cowbells and wielding whips and chains.. walk along the streets looking for naughty boys and girls to give them coal.
This tradition dates back to the 17th century and being allowed to disguise as a Krampus is apparently something to be proud of, a privilege reserved solely to unmarried men.. Krampus parades with hundreds of devils are held in Brunico, Dobbiaco, Val Aurina (skilled in making Christmas Devil masks), in Merano, Ora, Salzburg, Bavaria.
CENTRE OF ITALY: CANDLES IN CANDELARA (PESARO)
The legend goes that a lord of Pesaro, in medieval times, entrusted exactly a candle for the choice of where his castle would be built. The hamlet of Candelara is named after “candela” , the equivalent of candle and even its coat of arms results from it: three candles on three hills. Place of excellence, then, with its ancient castle and its hamlet, to act as a background to the most important Italian event, which takes place in the week-end celebrating the Virgin, specific for the magic world of candles.. Another version of Christmas markets.. enriched with a lot of food and wine tasting…