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...)
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.