Italy is a nation deeply influenced by the Christian religion. But still remains signs of pagan traditions, especially in small towns. For example in my town Itri
one of the most important and interesting festivity is "I fuochi di San giuseppe" (the fires of Saint Joseph) on the 21st of march, that celebrates the transition from the winter, cold season, to the spring, the fertile season, it's a way to celebrate life.
Some days before people start to collect in one pile in every quarter (but just in the old ones) dry branches of trees, and on the top of the pyramid we put a puppet that represent the spirit of the cold season (the winter). In the late afternoon of this day we burn the piles to create big fires. Around each fire are played traditional musics, there are street artists and there are served wine and typical foods such as "bruschette", "olive", "polenta con la salsiccia" and "zeppole".
The festivity attracts a lot of people from other cities so this night Itri became really full of people and what we do is just going around by walk visiting all the fires eating dancing and drinking wine. The celebrations ends in the night but for young people is usual to stay until dawn, maybe, as my and my friends do, eating steaks around the fire with the old people. I love this festivity because in this night I can meet a lot of friends that I dont see so often and there is a really joyfull atmosphere, is not strange to see at the end of the night some drunken old men dancing or going around with young people hugging each other (and between mine generation and the one of our grandparents there is not such a big contact usually).
In the last years I felt how much this tradition is becoming very important for younger generations, I think because is that we feel really distant at the moment from the society that we have around, politic, economy, and we need to came back to our traditions to think about basic things as relation with nature, like the change of season...
....and as the seasons change, the generations change to leave space for the new but we don't have to forget about the roots, because there, there is what really counts.