22 December 2013

LIFE: T'was the Week Before Christmas

CHIAVARI, Italy – There is a big Christmas street party here in Chiavari this afternoon, with music, panettone and hot chocolate for everyone. This will be my first encounter with Christmas Chiaverse style, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. 
  When the Sun Goes Down at Oh Bei, Oh Bei
Last year at this time I was still living near Milan and the big Christmas blow-out there is the opening of the Oh Bei, Oh Bei. The Oh Bei, Oh Bei, which means ‘how beautiful, how beautiful’ in Milanese dialect, is more like a festive bazaar than a Christmas street party and has been big part of Milanese holiday traditions since 1288.

It’s more like a mega-market in the center of Milan, set up around the Castello Sforzesco with hundreds of local artisans selling everything from hand knitted scarves and sweaters to jewelry, toys and gastronomic delights, including roasted chestnuts and hot cups of mulled wine. It’s one of the biggest street fairs in Italy and an event no self-respecting Milanese would ever dream of missing. 

There’s more food (and lots of it, plus everything else) at the Artiginato in Fiera, a massive fair held at Milan’s newest fair ground, the Fiera di Rho. The Artiginato in Fiera is a multi-cultural event with artisans coming from as far away as South America and China to participate. It showcases the workmanship and traditions of hand crafted goods that have been passed down from generation to generation, the one-of-a-kind crafts you would only see at a local fair.

As there are times when pictures speak louder than words, here are some photos of the both the Oh Bei, Oh Bei and the Artiginato in Fiera. They will surely give you a solid dose of that happy Christmas spirit.

First up are photos from Milan's Oh Bei, Oh Bei (which actually means 'How Beautiful, How Beautiful in Milanese dialect). The photos are all from the Corriere della Sera.

 A Walk in the Park with Benefits

 So Much to Chose From

 Just Adorable

 Is That Santa Claus Up There?

 Here are his Elves

Round and Round the Castle We Go


 With a Little Music
 And a Little Polenta with Mountain Music
And Cookies
And a BIG Pot of Something That Looks Amazing
And Some Lip Smacking Good Salami From Piedmont 
And a Mountain of Sicilian Delights
And the Boss Says Try One of These
And One of These (I don't Know What They Are But They Look Good) Straight From the Oven
Did Someone Order Some Bread?
 What About These Beauties Straight From the Oven
And Last but Not Least the Christmas Cake

Merry Christmas

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