Buona Befana

Liz Sumner Wisdom Leave a Comment

In Italy, especially this region, Le Marche, they celebrate Befana on January 6th. She’s pictured as an old crone covered in soot who comes down the chimney on the eve of Epiphany and leaves gifts or lumps of coal for the children. She sweeps away the old year and its problems with her broom. 

As with many other festas there’s some overlap between pagan and Christian legend. She may or may not have told the magi that she couldn’t help them find the baby Jesus because she was too busy with housework. 

The holiday is a kind of homage to wise old women. So Buona Befana to all of you who claim the title. While her look is not one I aspire to and her reputation as a great housekeeper doesn’t quite fit, I’ll accept the good wishes.

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