“La Befana vien di notte…”: the Epiphany in Italy
“Befana comes at night…” says an old Italian song.
On the night between the 5th and 6th of January, in all Italian homes “la Befana” comes.
“La Befana” is an old woman who flies on her old broom to bring presents to every good child.
Usually Befana’s presents are candies and sweets: kids prepare stockings in their houses near the window or near the fireplace and Befana fill them with many yummy sweets.
But be careful ! Bad kids will get only lumps of coal !
“Befana” word comes from “Epifania” (Epiphany): that’s why Befana comes in the Epiphany night.
And with Epiphany, Christmas time ends or, as we say in Italy, “L’Epifania ogni festa porta via” (Epiphany takes away every festivity).
La Befana vien di notte
con le scarpe tutte rotte
il cappello alla romana,
viva via la Befana !