Christmas Trees in Italy
By Rosario Mariani, http://www.europebychoice.com
The world’s largest Christmas tree display rises up the slopes of Monte Ingino outside of Gubbio, in Italy ‘s Umbria region. Composed of about 500 lights connected by 40,000 feet of wire, the ‘tree’ is a modern marvel for an ancient city.
Venice’s Murano Island renowned throughout the world for its quality glass-work is home to the tallest glass tree in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.
The Vatican ‘s heavenly evergreen, St. Peter’s Square in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.
A Christmas Carol
How about the “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol that has always baffled everyone. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? Here’s why!
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
-Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew,
Mark, Luke & John.
-Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five
books of the Old Testament.
-Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold
gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy
Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful
-Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve
points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.
Now you know!
Rosario Mariani is the owner/CEO of Europe By Choice, which promotes travel to Italy and other select European countries. He has more than 40 years of experience in the travel industry, previously serving as Director of Italy Product for Italiatour and Club ABC Tours, and also in other positions with EuroFly, Alitalia and Air France.