Why does Italy celebrate La Befana?
The tradition of La Befana In Italian folklore, Befana is an old soot-covered woman or witch who delivers presents to Italian children on the night before La Befana (Epiphany Eve). The story goes that on their way to see the infant Jesus, the Magi stopped to ask Befana for directions and asked her to join them.
What does La Befana symbolize?
The witch, the woman magician (the priestess of the ancient celtic culture that knew the secrets of nature) took the form of the Befana. The “coal” that she would leave to the nasty children was actually also a symbol of fertility connected to the sacred bonfires and the “ceppo”.
Do Italians still celebrate La Befana?
La Befana, which coincides with the feast of the Epiphany on 6 January, is an annual public holiday across Italy. Italians celebrate the religious feast of the Epiphany, or the more popular folklore version of La Befana, on 6 January which falls on a Thursday in 2022.
What is the good witch in Italy?
La Befana, whose name comes from the Roman dialect’s pronunciation of the Italian “epifania”, is a friendly witch who comes delivering gifts for the good children, and lumps of coal to the bad ones.
Is La Befana a witch?
In Italian folklore, La Befana is a witch who brings good children treats on the morning of the Epiphany, January 6. But if you were bad, look out – you may wake up to a lump of coal.
What is the 6th of January in Italy?
The 6th of January is a fun day to be in Italy, especially if you are child (in age or at heart!) It is the day when the country celebrates the Epiphany, the festivity remembering the arrival of the Three Kings to the crib of baby Jesus, and it is one of the most beloved holidays in the country.
Does Befana leave gifts in shoes?
La Befana comes on the night of January 5th, and leaves gifts in stockings or shoes. For Italian kids, La Befana is arguably bigger than Christmas when it comes to gift getting, and the morning of January 6th comes with lots of excitement (and sometimes even a parade through town).
How old is La Befana?
The figure of La Befana has been an Italian Christmas tradition, long before Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) made his way into the bel paese culture. Most sources say that the myth of La Befana goes back to the 13th century. The name La Befana derives from the word “epifania”.
What is January 6th called in Italy?
Feast of the Epiphany
The Feast of the Epiphany, an important post-Christmas date on the Christian calendar, is celebrated on January 6 as a national holiday in Italy. The tradition of La Befana, who arrives on the Epiphany, plays a big part in Italian Christmas celebrations.
What does Befana look like?
Befana is portrayed as a hooded old hag, similar to the type of witches we see during Halloween, covered in soot (she enters homes through the chimney) and rides a broom.
Why is La Befana a witch?
Did La Befana go to Bethlehem?
After the caravan had left, La Befana was overcome with an urge to travel to Bethlehem and meet this baby herself. So she packed a bag with baked goods and gifts for the newborn child, grabbed her broom (the new mother would certainly need help cleaning), and set out to Bethlehem.