Corsica: 7 ancient Christmas traditions of the island of beauty

Corsican Christmas traditions

 

Christmas in Corsica was, once, a time characterized by religiosity, by the desire to spend time together, and by some ancient traditions. Such as these seven, which will tell you how important is Christmas for Corsicans.

  1. In Corsica, the typical Christmas decorations were the holly, or a branch cut, or a small strawberry tree.
  2. In some churches, it was customary to show the “Bambinu”, a small statue of Baby Jesus, to the faithful at the end of the Holy Mass at midnight.
  3. In many villages of Corsica, the symbol of Christmas it is still the fire: from the night of December 24th until the first day of the new year, were lit large braziers that illuminated squares, streets and churches. The fires were stoked by the villagers. This tradition was carefully respected: according to popular belief, forget to light or stoke the fire would bring a death in the family after the first day of the new year.
  4. The Christmas Eve dinner was very frugal: chickpea soup and roasted chestnuts. Not surprisingly, today the chestnut is one of the most typical culinary specialties of the island of beauty.
  5. In some villages, it was customary to throw into the fire the first spoonful of the Christmas Eve meal: according to popular belief, it was to feed Baby Jesus.
  6. During Christmas, some Corsicans visited seven families in the village to offer them a log to stoke the fires and to spend some time together.
  7. The signadori were people who were thought to have magical powers. They bequeathed prayers or gestures (EG, prayer to remove the evil eye) only to one person and only orally. Such bequeathing could only take place on Christmas Eve, between the first and the last strike of the bell.

 

Image source: Flickr.com/photos/bpc009

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