With a heart overflowing with gratitude for the joys Italy and Italian have brought me, I am ending original posts on my blog. Previous posts will be available at diannehales.com, categorized both by subject and date. I will continue to host the La Bella Lingua group on FACEBOOK and to post on Instagram and Twitter.
Long after many Americans have taken down their Christmas trees and packed away the decorations, Italians continue to celebrate. The final feast is l’Epifania, on January 6, which commemorates the arrival of i re magi, the three kings who followed the bright Christmas star (stella cometa) to bring gifts for Baby Jesus (bambino Gesù).
“Anno nuovo, vita nuova!” This Italian saying literally means “new year, new life,” but it also translates as “Let’s have a fresh start!”—the perfect greeting for the dawn of 2022!
In this special season, I wish all of you “Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!”
Centuries ago, in 1223, San Francesco (Saint Francis), the charismatic friar of Umbria, wanted to bring to life the story of il natale di bambino Gesù (the birth of Baby Jesus). In the little town of Greccio, he placed a manger in some straw and added a living Madonna, San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), shepherds (pastori) and actual cattle (bue), sheep (pecore) and donkeys (asinelli), the animals that, as the story goes, once warmed the infant with their breath.
In the dark of December parts of Italy light up to celebrate a saint whose name derives from the Latin lux or lucis for light (luce in Italian).