"What? A witch visits Italy on Christmas!?" Top 5 Page for this destination Festivals Celebrations & Protests Tip by icunme

Festivals Celebrations & Protests, Rome: 31 reviews and 72 photos

  Photo - Christmas card - unknown Italian artist
by icunme

We like Santa - but we wait for the Befana - or if we have not been that good, we don't anticipate her arrival on the Eve of Epiphany January 5th, or the morning of January 6th. She is a witch-like character who rides around on a broom. The legend is that the Three Wise Men, I re magi, stopped at Befana's hut to ask directions on their way to Bethlehem and asked her to join them.
She said no, she was too busy. Later a shepherd asked her to join him in
paying respect to the Baby Jesus. Again, Befana said no. Later when it
was dark, she saw a great light in the sky and she thought maybe
she should have gone with the Wise Men. So, she gathered some toys
that had belonged to her own baby, who had died, and ran to find the
kings and the shepherd. But Befana could not find them or the stable.
Now, each year she looks for the Christ Child. And each year since
she can not find him, she leaves the gifts for the good children of Italy
and pieces of charcoal for the bad ones.....

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 23, 2007
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