Le vigilie

In the Bari tradition, Christmas begins on 22 November, the feast of Santa Cecilia, patron of music. The Christmas carol “You come down from the stars” came down from the organ, the first warning of Christmas now approaching. December in Bari is a month full of holidays, almost all of which anticipate Christmas.
An ancient proverb reads thus:
“Ij so’ dicembre, (Io sono dicembre)
e portche u chestipe, (e porto il raffreddore)
u jurn ca nascì Sande Necole, (il giorno che nacque San Nicola)
u vendicingue ca nascì u Redentor (il venticinque nacque il Redentore)”.
Grandmother was excited as she told us, in a sweet and silent voice, this story of the beginning of the vigil. My schoolmates and I were happy as we listened to her story.

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