1.06.2017

January 6th, The Story of the Epiphany and La Befana


Our family always celebrated the holidays in a big way, especially Christmas!  There is something wonderful and magical about maintaining traditions.  In our family, the Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve and ends on January 6th!  The Feast of the Epiphany is when Christians around the world celebrate the symbolic day.  The day the Three Kings visited baby Jesus in the manger.




                                     The nativity scene we enjoy setting up every year.

In Italy, it is a national holiday, where shops and schools are closed. It's also when children open their gifts which have been placed under the tree or inside their stockings, similar to our Santa Claus, they have La Befana.  It's a joyful day, followed by a feast of food served for the entire family and friends to enjoy.

The legendary story of the Befana, known as La Vecchia, is about the old woman Befana who was asked by the Three Kings to come along with them in search to find the Child King, born in Bethlehem.  She refused, but then later decided to go out in search for the Three Kings and this baby boy, the son of God they talked about. 

She went looking for days with her broom, taking some bread along with her.  Every time she saw a baby boy, she would break off a piece of her bread and give it to the child, thinking that he might be the Child King who would recognize her. 

Today, every year on the Feast of epiphany, or Three Kings, the children of Italy eagerly await the arrival of "la vecchia," who still leaves each child a small gift.

This is a doll version of The Old Woman Befana, La Vecchia-  we enjoy taking her out every Christmas! 
To all our family and friends here, in Italy and around the world,
 Buona Festa!
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12 comments:

  1. Great post. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Velva! So nice to see you again! Happy New Year to you and your family as well!\
      xxoo

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  2. I loved this story and find these traditions fascinating! How beautiful! And I love your new photo - you two are lovely! Happy New Year and have a blessed Epiphany.

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    1. Thank you Tricia!! Happy New Year to you too! xxoo

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  3. Che bel presepio! Very Italian. I hope the Befana was good to you. I love all your posts. My son and daughter in law in Australia have used a lot of your recipes as well. Your famous even down under.

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    1. Thank you Gemmagirl! When we receive comments like yours, it keeps us motivated to keep posting recipes! Thanks again and Buona Festa!!

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  4. I loved reading about this Italian tradition and La Vecchia, which I had not heard before. Love the doll version :) xo

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  5. Long ago during our travels to Germany, we found out it's a tradition in Germany as well but the name of this doll, old woman is called something else. Have a great weekend!

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  6. I really liked reading about your traditions at Christmas time and the legendary story of the Befana, known as "La Vecchia".
    Wishing you both a wonderful and creative New Year!

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    1. Thank you Sandra, as we wish the very same blessed New Year to you!

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  7. I am always so happy in my heart and soul when I learn of someone else who believes in the true 12 days of Christmas from 12-25 until January 6th and Epiphany. I love how you celebrate and the explanation of La Befana in Italy. What a wonderful tradition!

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  8. Thank you Roz! We hope to keep these traditions going from generation to generation and believe in the 12 days of Christmas!! Love Anna and Liz

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