Christmas in July

European’s traditional Christmas imagery includes cold, snowy landscapes and long evenings in front of the fireplace – but there are of course a lot of places where Christmas is celebrated in summer: Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, a little Italian village in the Piedmont region…

Yes, we’re serious: the small municipality of Vagna, in the D’Ossola valley, celebrates Christmas on the second Sunday of July.

This odd decision was taken in the XVII century to allow families to celebrate Christmas all together. The fathers and the oldest children, then shepherds and woodcutters, were hired during Winter on the other side of the Alps – and it was impossible to pass the mountains until the warmer season.

Even nowadays, if you happen to walk through Vagna in the heat of July, you will see decorated trees, nativity scenes with some cotton snow, and children choirs singing Christmas carols.

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