Sunday, 6 January 2013

La Befana   Celebration  of the Epiphany can be traced as far back as the 13th century and is one of the most popular Italian feasts.  Children of today know Befana as an old witch who flies a broom and wears a black shawl, with a dress underneath dirty with soot from the chimneys she climbs down to deliver her gifts. For the good children she brings sweets, toys and books. For the ill-behaved children, she brings onions, garlic and coal.

The Legend of La Befana

The legend tells that the three Kings, on the night between the 5th and 6th of January, wanted to visit baby Jesus. They walked all night carrying presents with them. They became lost and knocked at a door of an old woman’s house, the house of La Befana.
They asked Befana which way they had to go to find Jesus and if she could come with them to Bethlehem. Befana gave them the right directions but she refused to go as she had lots of things to do at home.
After that, however, she regretted saying no to their request. So she made lots of cakes and walked outside her home. She offered cakes to all the children she met on her way, hoping one of them were Jesus. Since then, Befana brings gifts to all the children.

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