January 6, 2014

La Befana

 What's that you say? La Befana? The Christmas witch. Never heard of her? Let me tell you a little bit about a fun tradition that we have at our house.

In Italy on the eve of Epiphany Italian children anxiously await the arrival of Befana, who fills their socks with treats and gifts if they have been good or a lump of coal if they have been naughty, similar to Santa Claus. Legend also has it that Befana is a grand housekeeper and that she will sweep your floor and tidy up before she leaves.  This is a symbol of sweeping away the problems of the previous year. She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick. Befana has quite a tale attached to her. It is believed that she visits the homes of all the children in the world because she is still looking to find the Christ child, whom the Magi spoke of when they passed Befana's house many, many years ago.  Visit this site for her whole story.

Here is Ronan with his very first Befana visit. Befana thought that Ronan had been a very good boy and brought him lots of fun treats.  He was yet too little for traditional coal candy (almost all Italian children receive this candy...as they have all been naughty at least a few times during the year. Trust me, they quite like it) He enjoyed his treats just the same.

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