Lights, nativity scenes and Christmas traditions on the Amalfi Coast

2nd December 2020

Christmas holidays are really popular in the world and, especially, in Southern Italy, where a large part of the population feel the religiousness of this period. The December festivities, the most significant for believers, are celebrated with solemn rites, abundant family lunches, ancestral traditions and villages dressed in light.

Positano is a special place to spend Christmas: illuminated by the stars and pervaded by the magical atmosphere of the holidays, our vertical town seems itself a welcoming and charming crib. To fully experience the spirituality of this period of the year, a winter holiday on the Amalfi Coast is absolutely recommended.

 

Each village has its own nativity scene

 

The inhabitants of the Amalfi Coast are eagerly awaiting the arrival of December on the calendar. This is the month of the most delicious recipes, celebrations and joyful lights. Without forgetting the typical cribs of the Amalfi Coast, as many as there are local communities, which all deeply feel the liturgy of the nativity.

Positano prepares its nativity scene in the enchanting Fornillo Grotto, blessed in the night of Christmas Eve. Minori and Ravello boast graceful nativity scenes and real people cribs, Amalfi set up small works of art dating back to the seventeenth or eighteenth century in a moving and effective representation. Near Amalfi, then, every year a nativity scene with a unique setting comes to life: host inside the Emerald Grotto, it is lulled by soft waves.

Not far away, in the Sorrento Peninsula, you can admire many masterpieces of craftsmanship. In Massa Lubrense, the blessed hut of Bethlehem lives again in the warm trunk of a millenary olive tree. Skilled Neapolitan masters sign the splendid nativity scenes in the church of the Santissima Annunziata in Vico Equense and in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Lauro in Meta di Sorrento. The most spectacular in this area, however, is prepared in the Sedil Dominova in Sorrento, embraced by amazing eighteenth-century frescoes.

 

Streets and squares streaked with light

 

Next to the nativity scenes, the lights are the protagonists of the Christmas and New Year's celebrations on the Amalfi Coast. Among the most beautiful events in the area, an honorable mention goes to Luci d’Artista, which transforms Salerno into a fairy city, between December and January. Majestic installations cloak streets, squares and buildings, designing a dreamlike scenography inspired each year by a different theme.

There is also a characteristic Santa Claus village, populated by elves and fairy-tale creatures ready to entertain the little ones. In such a context, the nativity cannot be missing and Salerno has its own unique sand crib set up by expert craftsmen. In this year so different from the others, the festival will take place in a reduced form, with much smaller artificial lights concentrated on the main street of the city, to not deprive inhabitants and visitors of the lights symbolizing hope, as well as celebration.

Sorrento hosts another impressive Christmas festival: M’illumino d’inverno, scheduled annually between the end of November and January. The lights are the undisputed queens of these celebrations, becoming warm scenarios for many activities. The calendar is varied and satisfies different concepts of entertainment: from theatrical performances to concerts in the squares and dance performances, from vintage car rallies to chess tournaments, without forgetting the moments all dedicated to children. On the Amalfi Coast, you enjoy Christmas holidays in the town squares, you find yourself in the churches animated by joyful songs, you let yourself be invested by the light waiting for the new year, in the hope that 2021 promises better days than the one that has come to an end.

 

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