Sophia’s sketch for La Befana puppet. In Italy, the feast of Epiphany, celebrating the arrival of the Three Magi in Bethlehem, eclipses the secular New Year as the . Download this stock image: Befana puppet on display at a market stall in Navona Square at Christmas, Rome, Italy – DFBX11 from Alamy’s library of millions of. Download this stock image: Befana puppet on display at a market stall in Navona Square at Christmas, Rome, Italy – DFBWRY from Alamy’s library of millions of.

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Befana was never a widespread tradition among the whole Italian peoplehaving originated in Rome and having only become well known and practiced by the rest of the population during the 20th century.

She searched and searched for Hefana Jesus, but never found him. A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany Italian: She brought some baked goods and gifts for baby Jesus in her bag and took her broom to help the new mother clean and began her search for baby Jesus.

Urbania is thought to be her official home. Wikimedia Commons has media related brfana La Befana.

Italy: La Befana, the original Good Witch

Historian Carlo Ginzburg relates her to Nicevenn. The child’s family typically leaves a small glass of puppef and a plate with a few morsels of food, often regional or local, for the Befana. All wrapped up In snow and frost and the north wind! Traditionally, all Italian children may expect to ouppet a lump of ” coal ” in their stockings actually rock candy made black with caramel coloringas every child has been at least occasionally bad during the year.


The tradition of Befana appears to incorporate other pre-Christian popular elements as well, adapted to Christian culture and related to the celebration of the New Year. On the eve of the Epiphany, Befana comes to a house where there is a child and leaves a gift. Stephen’s Day Sol Invictus Yule. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the little baby.

The magi invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined, puuppet she was too busy with her housework. She eventually met Jesus and presented him with gifts to make him happy.

As with all other Italian fesivities, the rest of the day was spent feasting with the family. The Befana comes by night With her shoes all tattered and torn She comes dressed in the Roman way Long live the Befana! This page puppte last edited on 31 Decemberat This Befana appears to be heir at law of a certain heathen goddess called Strenia, who presided over the new-year’s gifts, ‘Strenae,’ from which, indeed, she derived her name.

Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. About 30, to 50, people attend the festivities.

Befana puppet on display at a market stall in Navona Square at Christmas, Rome, Italy

Christmas characters Christmas in Italy Festivals in Italy Fictional characters who use magic Fictional witches Holiday characters Italian folklore Witchcraft in folklore and mythology Witchcraft in Italy.


Upon hearing news of Jesus being born, she set out to see him, delusional that he was her son.

Although she has been unsuccessful in her search, she still leaves gifts for good young children because the Christ Child can be found in all children. Befana also maintains many similarities with Perchta and her Pre-Christian Alpine traditions. One day the magi, also known as the puuppet wise men, came to her door in search of baby Jesus.

Befana – Wikipedia

Hope, in his ‘Essay on Architecture,’ says: Viene, viene la Befana. But an ‘Essay on the Fine Arts,’ by E. This illuminated witch figure carried small gifts, and possibly some pu;pet of coal, in recognition of childrens’ behaviour over the past year.

Befana turned them away because she was too busy cleaning. Later, La Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus.

There are poems about Befana, which are known in slightly different versions throughout Italy. The team of anthropologists also wrote about Befana as a figure that evolved into a goddess associated with fertility and agriculture.

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