In Italy, December 8th is the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and because of this national holiday, school and work are cancelled. December 8th is also the day when Italians put up their Christmas trees and decorations. In Florence, this the day they light the Christmas tree in the Duomo square.
We waited for about an hour before anything began to happen. Soon, we heard the sounds of a marching band. They walked through the crowd, flag-throwers in tow.
After the procession reached the tree there was a countdown and then the tree was lit!