Tuesday, January 06, 2009

La Befana

La Befana - Epiphany - 6th January

La Befana is a kindly, old, witch from whom the Three Wise men asked directions. Sadly she was not able to help but they asked her if she would like to join them in searching for the new born infant. Initially she declined but later decided it would be a good idea to join them and set off in search of the Kings and the baby Jesus. Unfortunately she got lost and never arrived, now she wonders the world handing out sweets and presents to children at Christmas in the hope of finding Jesus.

All over Italy, La Bafana is celebrated on the 6th January if you have been good she will give you a colourful stocking full of sweets but woe betide naughty children as theirs is filled with “Il carbone”, a candy made from black sugar and resembles lumps of coal. This year in the Upper Tiber Valley, she can be seen in the Piazza’s of Monte S.M. Tiberina, Montone and Umbertide while in Citta di Castello she will abseil down the Torre Civica.