Christmas in July

Traditional Christmas imagery includes cold, the Nativity, Xmas trees (of course) snowy landscapes and long evenings in front of the fireplace – but there is also a place in Italy where Christmas is celebrated in July in a small village in the Piedmont region.

We could not be more serious: the small municipality of Vagna, in the D’Ossola valley, Piedmont, celebrates Christmas on the second Sunday of July every year since XVII century.

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.

That meant missing Christmas on 25 December and not being able to celebrate it with their families. Thus, once got home, they made up for Christmas by celebrating it in July.

Nowadays, Christmas is regularly celebrated on 25 December in Vagna, but Christmas in July is still a tradition, indeed if you happen to walk through Vagna in the heat of July, you will see decorated Xmas trees, nativity scenes and children choirs singing the Christmas carols.

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