Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Buona La Befana!

I still have updates on New Years and The Pacheco's visit, but today is La Befana in Italy. Giancarlo and I officially don't go back to work until tomorrow because of this unique holiday... unique for us.

La Befana celebrates the epiphany here in Italy, and La Befana (Wikipedia) is a character in Italian folklore who delivers presents to children throughout Italy, in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.

In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the 6th of January to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. The child's family typically leaves a small glass of wine and a plate with a few morsels of food, often regional or local, for the Befana. (I guess that beats milk and cookies...)

Our little la strega courtesy of Giancarlo's mom.

She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in soot because she enters the children's houses through the chimney. She is often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, or both.

We're patiently waiting for our candy.


Ashley & Jason said...

Buon Anno!
Your story sounds strangely simmiliar to mine! I grew up in Seattle, my husband in San Fran & then we lived in NYC for 7 years & left it for Italy too!! Couldn't be happier!! Now we run an agriturismo & cooking school in Le Marche - near Urbania. Where are you?? Just wanted to say hi & now I'm following your blog! All the best, Ashley

Giancarlo & Emily said...

What a small world! We're in Bologna, but oddly enough we're always in Fano!

Where in Urbania are you?


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