The story of La Befana
| The Legend of La Befana |The Tradition of La Befana
My Befana Befana Fenile Befana Letters Contact Us Italiano

The Italian Tradition of La Befana

The Italian tradition tells that La Befana, a nice old woman, on the night between the 5th and 6th January, lands on the roofs with her broom stick and goes down the chimney, where every child has left their stocking. La Befana, who carries with her a bag of sweets, fills the stockings of the children who behave with lots of chocolates. She fills the stockings of the kids who didn’t behave with lumps of coal instead.

The Epiphany day, the 6th of January, is considered the last day of the Christmas holiday and everyone takes the Christmas tree down on that day. In Italy there is a saying " L'Epifania che ogni festa si porta via" which roughly translated means “The Epiphany takes away all festivity”.

In most Italian regions, even adults give little presents to each other and so do lovers with stockings full of chocolate, that are similar to those that La Befana leaves for the kids.

Everyone knows La Befana as an old woman, usually ugly, who wears an old, long and big skirt with colourful patches, a scarf on her shoulders, a hat and a pair of old and broken shoes. You can find all this in the Befana song.