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January Festivals and Holiday Events in Italy

Italian Festivals, Holidays, and Special Events in January

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January starts with New Year's Eve events lasting into the New Year and some events on New Year's Day. New Year's Events

Trasimeno Blues Festival, Umbria's Gospel Festival, continues through the first week of January at Lake Trasimeno.

Epiphany, the arrival of the 3 kings, is celebrated January 6. In Italy, children hang their stockings the night before waiting for gifts from La Befana. Live nativities are performed around Epiphany, too. More about Epiphany and La Befana and where to see Nativity Scenes.

San Antonio Abate is celebrated in villages in the Abruzzo region and Sardinia, January 16 to 17, with the lighting of huge bonfires that burn all night and there's often also music, dancing, and drink.

San Antonio Abate is celebrated in the Sicilian town of Nicolosi, near Mount Etna, on January 17. Ceremonies begin before dawn when the monks repeat their vows of dedication to God and to the Saint. The day is filled with parades and solemn ceremonies.

Il Palio di Sant'antonio Abate is held in the Tuscan town of Buti, near Pisa, the first Sunday after January 17. Festivities start with a procession of people wearing the colors of their neighborhood. In the afternoon, the horse race, a competition between the neighborhoods, is run with the winner taking the palio (definition of palio).

Feast Day of San Sebastiano is celebrated many places in Sicily on January 20. In Mistretta, a huge statue of the saint is paraded through town on a litter born by 60 men. In Acireale, there is a colorul parade with a silver carriage and singing of hymns.

In the Abruzzo region, the city of Ortono celebrates by lighting the Vaporetto, a brightly coloured papier maché model of a boat which is decorated and loaded with fireworks, in front of the Cathedral in honor of St. Sebastian.

Fair of Sant'Orso, a woodcarvers fair, has been around for about 1000 years. Local restaurants serve special meals, there's entertainment, and over 700 woodworkers have stalls to demonstrate their skills and sell wooden items. The fair is in the historic center of Aosta at the end of January.

Carnevale - some year's Carnevale events may start in late January, depending on the date of Shrove Tuesday and Easter.

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