La Befana

Today we celebrated the Epiphany with La Befana. In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy for Epiphany in a similar way to Santa Claus. In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany 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. To some the sweeping means the sweeping away of the problems of the year. 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. She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a shawl. She is often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, or both. (adapted from Wikipedia). Thanks to Caterina’s family for providing the gifts La Befana brought today as we celebrated their Italian cultural tradition.

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