Buona Befana a tutti!
Today is la Festa dell’Epifania in Italia, celebrating the arrival of i Re Magi (the 3 Wise Men) Gasparre, Melchiorre & Baldassarre with their gifts of oro, incenso e mirra (gold, frankincense and myrrh) for newborn Bambino Gesù (baby Jesus).
The night between January 5th and 6th is also the 12th night between Christmas and the Epiphany, and marks the end of the Christmas holiday season. As the proverb says, ‘L’Epifania tutte le feste porta via’. What does this have to do with La Befana, the ‘Buona Strega’?
La Befana is the traditional ‘gift-bringer’ in Italian folklore. According to legend, which varies from region to region, she is an old woman who prides herself on being a good housekeeper. While she was sweeping, the 3 Wise Men stopped at her house to ask for directions to Bethlehem. She didn’t know the way…
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Great post on an age-old Italian tradition Cristina! Thank you for sharing the explanation. I hope you had dolci
Un po' di pepe said:
Grazie Margie. La Befana is so fun and si I had dolci!
Sweets for the sweet! 🙂