La Befana: an Italian Christmas custom

La Befana, which accompanies the banquet of the Surprise on 6 January, is a yearly public holiday across Italy.Italians celebrate the religious feast of the Surprise, or the more popular folklore version of La Befana, on 6 January which falls on a Wednesday in 2021. The Surprise is a national holiday throughout Italy, with public workplaces closed, and marks the official end of the Christmas season.In the Bible custom the feast of the Epiphany is when the 3 Wise Men arrive in Bethlehem bearing gifts for Baby Jesus on the 12th day of Christmas.Who is La Befana?However in the popular fairytale version

the story goes that the smart men invited a witch-like lady, or strega, to join them on their journey to bring presents to the Christ child.She initially refused, due to being too busy with household chores, but then attempted to follow them. Not able to find Jesus the kind-hearted Befana provided the toys to other children.Although eclipsed by the modern-day tradition of Santa Claus

, La Befana remains adored by Italian kids, who hang up their stockings in anticipation of presents on the nights between 5 and 6 January.The stockings are placed by windows or over fireplaces, with a glass of wine or

some Christmas deals with such as panettone or pandoro typically excluded as drinks for La Befana.Children who have been good typically get sweets while those who have actually misbehaved will get lumps of coal-which nowadays can be black rock candy.After depositing her gifts, the soot-covered old hag is understood for sweeping up your home before getting on her broomstick again.What are the origins of La Befana?The folklore tradition has actually been commemorated in Italy in one type or another for centuries, perhaps outgrowing ancient pagan rituals or came down

from the Sabine/Roman goddess called Strenia.La Befana is most related to Rome and main Italy but the customized infect the remainder of the country throughout the 20th century.In the Italian capital there is normally a Befana Christmas market in Piazza Navona however it was not held this year due to the covid-19 crisis.La Befana 2021 As a legal holiday and a holy day, public workplaces will be

closed across Italy on 6 January 2021, with the majority of schools reopening the next day. La Befana also marks the last ‘red zone’day during Italy’s lockdown constraints.

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