During Christmas time the tradition sees bagpipes (zampogne or ciaramedda) players dressed like shepherds, especially common in Abruzzo and Sicily but not only, going around cities and villages playing old Christmas tunes with their other original instruments like the flute (Friscaletto in Sicily).
So may are the popular Christmas songs that we are going to mention just a few of the most well known: “Tu scendi dalle stelle” here by Zampogne D’Abruzzo composed by S. Alfonso De’ Liguori (1696-1787)
An Abruzzo Christmas folk song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIrIU6XFjzs
Two traditional Sicilian Christmas songs
This is a more modern but still very intense Ave Maria by F. De Andrè http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdKqNayO13o
Of course, there then the classical cantata, so many that we would need lot of space to list them here, therefore we give only one as reference “the Christmas Cantata” composed by A. Scarlatti (Palermo 1660-Naples 1725) should anyone have the curiosity to listen to it search on You tube.
We conclude now with a very famous Italian saying reinforcing the family aspect of the Christmas Holiday. “Natale con i tuoi e Pasqua con chi vuoi” which can roughly be translated into: Christmas with your family and Easter with everyone else you like to be with. The end.
Bits and Pieces on Christmas Traditions in Italy by mn – Part III
Pictures by mn
Videos: All credit to respective owners