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    Posted December 6, 2013 by
    Cologno al Serio, Italy
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your spectacular Christmas decorations

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    Christmas in italian South Tyrol


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     PGPescali is an Italian freelance journalist who was working on a feature in South Tyrol when he decided to capture the festivities at a Christmas market. "I like colors and lights, the best time to see them is when it snows," he says. "It makes me feel quiet and peaceful."

    The German-speaking Italian province of South Tyrol is a popular destination for tourists wanting to experience some of the famous Christmas markets, the Bressanone being the most famous one.
    - jcsoffel, CNN iReport producer

    Every years thousands of tourists invade the small towns of the italian german-speaking region of South Tyrol to watch the famous Christmas Markets. One of the most famous is in Bressanone (Brixen in german), a city of 30.000 inhabitants. December 6th, Saint Nicholas day, is the most regarded religious festivity in these alpine valleys. During the night of Dec 5th, religious processions in all South Tyrol are followed by more secular procession of Krampus (devils), terrific creatures, half animal, half human, who, in the local folklore, have the duty to punish misbehaved children. Krampus are pushed away by the coming of Saint Nicholas, who brings sweets and gifts to all the children. Till XVII century, the Catholic Church tried to abolish the figures of Krampus, but after XVIII century they were included in the worship of Saint Nicholas as symbol of the devils who are submitted to the Christian Saints, stated the supremacy of the Church to the paganism.

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