Home Search Sitemap About Us
Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Italian version of the Christmas story is that La Befana (or Epiphany) was sweeping her floor when the Three Wise Men came to her door and asked her to accompany them to Bethlehem.

She declined in order to finish her task but later had an epiphany of what she had missed. Since then, she is said to wander from door to door looking for the Christ child.

La Befana is said to arrive at homes in Italy in the form of a fairy, a witch or a crone bearing gifts for the children if they have behaved especially well.

Befana or "La Befana" is a friendly spirit in Italian folklore, similar to Santa Claus. Her name means 'giver of gifts', and she visits all the children in Italy on January 6, to fill their stockings with candy if they are good or a lump of coal if they are bad. The child's family will always leave a plate of broccoli and spiced sausage plus a small glass of wine for La Befana.

She is usually portrayed as an old lady, riding a broomstick through the air. Unlike a witch though, she is often smiling and she has a bag or a hamper filled with candy and/or gifts. (Courtesy of Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)
Back to previous page

The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


Copyright © 2005 Windsor Mosaic Website. All rights reserved.