Christmas in Naples: three typical things of December

There is a very important period of the year all over the world but much more important in a particular place: Christmas in Naples. An infinite number of traditions and customs that make the city magical and visit Naples in December will become an experience to remember forever.

The Christmas Crib

Let’s start from the cribs: the Neapolitan crib is a centuries-old tradition that cannot be missed in every family and in every home. Small and symbolic, large and detailed: the important thing is that there is and that on Christmas night the empty space of Jesus Child in the cave is filled with the statue, possibly carried by hand in a small homemade procession where it usually takes lined up from the smallest to the biggest singing the most classic of songs: “Tu scendi dalle stelle” (You come down from the stars). And if you want to see so many cribs, one more beautiful than the other, all together there is only one place in the world and it is the mythical street of San Gregorio Armeno, right in the historic center of Naples, an alley full of historic artisan shops, open all year but for obvious reasons during the Christmas season is dressed up. Your eyes will shine as you admire all the details and this is certainly one of those things to do at least once in your life.

The Neapolitan Christmas games

The games: there is another great tradition in Naples at Christmas, getting together in the family and playing Tombola: a game in which someone takes a number one at a time out of a bag or rather from a basket (in Neapolitan “Panaro”) and whoever fills first all the boxes in his folder wins. A sort of bingo but much more fun, because you laugh, you make jokes and the numbers are marked with everything what’s left over from the Christmas lunch: tangerine peels, beans, dried fruit…

The Christmas food in Naples

And speaking of food, Christmas in Naples is also and above all food and strange to say, Christmas Eve in Naples is perhaps more important on Christmas Day itself. Eve dinner starts around 8.30 pm and is entirely based on fish, cooked in different ways but with certain reference points: fried cod, eel and seafood. And then the desserts, a keleidoscope of colors and flavors at a table full of relatives and friends with a difficult atmosphere to imagine if you don’t live it.