The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on 6 January in Italy. It is celebrated with a national holiday. Epiphany, along with the tradition of La Befana is an integral part of Italy’s Christmas celebrations.
According to Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on the eve of Epiphany (January 5). She is traditionally pictured as a witch travelling on a broomstick and, according to tradition, she enters houses via the chimney and fills the stockings of well behaved children with toys and sweets. Those children who haven’t behaved during the year will find their stockings have been filled with lumps of coal instead!
In the same way as children in the UK would leave Father Christmas a bite to eat and something to drink, Italian children also leave her something to eat and drink during her visit.
Holidaymakers visiting Italy in January will find supermarkets and stores selling stockings pre-filled with sweets to leave at the end of a child’s bed.
If you fancy heading to Italy to see this tradition yourself, get in touch with Bookings For You to find out what accommodation is available.