Christmas in Italy HSG student Martina Tatavitto is a member of the Italian Club at the University of St.Gallen. In this article she describes a typical Italian Christmas celebration. 21 December 2015. The main thing we do is of course: eat a lot. It is also typical Italian that the whole family meets at Nonna’s house (grandma’s house). And of course all the dishes are prepared by Nonna, Mamma and Zia (grandma, mother and aunt). Fish dishes on 24 December On 24 December we don’t eat any meat, instead we eat different fish dishes. On the 25th we usually eat Arrosto di Agnello (roast lamb). This is one of the typical Italian Christmas dishes. And for dessert we get Panettone (Christmas cake) or Struffoli (deep fried balls of dough). Before or after the meals we will sing some Italian Christmas songs, for example “Tu scendi dalle stelle”. To spend as much time as possible together we always play Tombola, a sort of Lotto, but without a prize. So it is just for fun. And of course we talk and laugh a lot. A manger in each family's home In almost every Italian family's home you can find a Presepe (manger). The interesting thing about Christmas in Italy is that we set up the Christmas tree on 8 December already. Another really important date about Italian Christmas is the 6 January. It’s called Epifania and it’s loved by the children. The tradition says that an old lady, the Befana, will visit each house and fill the socks hanging on the chimney with sweets for the good children. The not so well-behaved children will receive coals.