June 15, 2020 0 Comments

Sophia’s sketch for La Befana puppet. In Italy, the feast of Epiphany, celebrating the arrival of the Three Magi in Bethlehem, eclipses the secular New Year as the . Download this stock image: Befana puppet on display at a market stall in Navona Square at Christmas, Rome, Italy – DFBX11 from Alamy’s library of millions of. Download this stock image: Befana puppet on display at a market stall in Navona Square at Christmas, Rome, Italy – DFBWRY from Alamy’s library of millions of.

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The presents were traditionally a a piece of fruit or candy, and it was not unusual to also receive a piece of coal, with the assumption that the child had been bad at some point in the previous year.

In other parts of the world where a vibrant Italian community exists, traditions involving Befana may be observed and shared or celebrated with the wider community.

Befana notices a bright light in the sky; she thinks this is the way to baby Jesus. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Befana also maintains many similarities with Perchta and her Pre-Christian Alpine traditions. In Italy, the feast of Epiphany, celebrating the arrival of the Three Magi in Bethlehem, eclipses the secular New Year as the important marker for the new year. Italian anthropologists Claudia and Luigi Manciocco, in their book Una casa senza porte “A House without Doors” trace Befana’s origins back to Neolithic beliefs and practices.

She brought some baked goods and gifts for baby Jesus in her bag and took her broom to help the new mother clean and began her search for baby Jesus.

Macaulay says, “Christianity conquered paganism, but paganism infected Christianity; the rites of the Pantheon passed into her ‘worship, and the subtilties of the Academy into her creed. However, her child died, and her resulting grief maddened her. Christian legend had it that Befana was approached by the biblical magialso known as the Three Wise Men or the three kings a few days before the birth of the Infant Jesus.


Befana Puppet During Epiphany Celebration Stock Image – Image of halloween, history:

A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany Italian: Popular mythology has it that the three wise men stopped into la Befana’s house on their way to Bethlehem, seeking shelter and a meal for the night.

Sophia’s sketch for La Befana puppet. Christmas characters Christmas in Italy Festivals in Italy Fictional characters who use magic Fictional witches Holiday characters Italian folklore Witchcraft in folklore and mythology Witchcraft in Italy.

Viene, viene la Befana. Although she has been unsuccessful in her search, she still leaves gifts for good young children because the Christ Child can be found in all children. Stephen’s Day Sol Invictus Yule. Another Christian legend takes a slightly darker tone as La Befana was an ordinary woman with a child whom she greatly loved. In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good, or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad.

She is often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, or both. Three places in Italy are nowadays associated with the Befana tradition: This Befana appears to be heir at law of a certain heathen goddess called Strenia, who presided over the new-year’s gifts, ‘Strenae,’ from which, indeed, she derived her name.

Italy: La Befana, the original Good Witch

Until recently, Christmas was exclusively a family befanz and children only received gifts on epiphany, which they found in the morning in puppdt stockings in the stockings or shoes they had left out, befanw a bottle of wine, or a piece of salame for la Befana. Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. Return to main page. As with all other Italian fesivities, the rest of the day was spent feasting with the family.

This illuminated witch figure carried small gifts, and possibly some lumps of coal, in recognition of childrens’ behaviour over the past year. Popular tradition tells that if one sees La Befana one will receive a thump from her broomstick, as she doesn’t wish to be seen. Every year there is a big festival held to celebrate the holiday. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.


Befana puppet during epiphany celebration

On the eve of the Epiphany, Befana comes to a house where there is a child and leaves a gift. Befana turned them away because she was too busy cleaning. Tarbuck, led me to believe that this custom is a relic of pagan worship, and that the word “Bastrina” refers to the offerings which used to be made to the goddess Strenia.

Others point to the name being a derivative of Bastrina, the gifts associated with the goddess Strina. Hundreds of Pjppet are present, swinging from the main tower. The team of anthropologists also wrote about Befana as a figure that evolved into a goddess associated with fertility and agriculture. In many poorer parts of Italy and in particular pupppet Sicily, a stick in a stocking was placed instead of coal.

About 30, to 50, people attend the festivities. Urbania is thought to be her official home. Bfeana still searches today, after all these centuries. A theory connects the tradition of exchanging gifts to an ancient Roman festivity in honour of Ianus and Strenia in Italian a Christmas gift used to be called strennacelebrated befaba the beginning of the year, when Romans used to give each other presents.

We could hardly expect that the pagans who embraced Christianity could altogether abandon their former creeds and customs. She searched and searched for Baby Jesus, but never found him. The widow was sush a nice hostess that they invited her to come with them to find the new born Jesus.

Upon hearing news of Jesus being born, she set out to see him, delusional that he was her son. The Befana declined their offer, but, regretting her decision after they left, she packed up some toys belonging to her own child who had previously died beafna set out after them.