Festa della Immacolata Concezione
Today December 8 is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is a public holiday in Italy and seen as the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, it celebrates the day on which the Virgin Mary was conceived by her parents Saint Anne and Saint Joachim. The feast of Mary’s birthday is accordingly celebrated nine months later on September 8.
To celebrate, here is a painting by Jacopo Tintoretto of