Christmas stories seen through children's eyes Christmas in the countries of Europe - Page 9

The singing of carols is a very important part of Romanian Christmas festivities. On the first day of Christmas, many carolers walk through the streets of the towns and villages, holding a star made of cardboard and paper on which are depicted various scenes from the Bible. Romanian tradition has the smallest children going from house to house, singing carols and reciting poems and legends during the whole Christmas season. The leader of the group carries with him a star made of wood, covered with metal foil and decorated with bells and coloured ribbons. An image of the Nativity is painted on the star's centre, and this piece of handiwork is attached to the end of a broom or other long stick. Romanian food served during the holidays is a hearty multi-coursed meal, most of which consists of pork (organs, muscle, and fat). This is mainly a symbolic gesture for St. Ignatius of Antioch. T he Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Italian Festa dell'Immacolata Concezione) on December 8 is a national holiday in Italy. Christmas decorations, including the presepe (nativity scene), as well as the Christmas tree, are usually put up on this day. Some modern takes on this holiday involve them hanging vultures to symbolize the cleaning of their spirits.