Miscellaneous

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

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, January 6th 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, only they have an old woman called 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

  • Reply
    Velva
    January 6, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Great post. Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      January 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm

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

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 6, 2014 at 1:23 am

    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.

    • Reply
      annaliz
      January 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm

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

  • Reply
    Gemmagirl
    January 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      annaliz
      January 6, 2017 at 7:52 pm

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

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    January 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm

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

  • Reply
    annaliz
    January 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    January 10, 2017 at 10:03 am

    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!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      January 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm

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

  • Reply
    Roz Corieri Paige
    January 14, 2017 at 1:50 am

    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!

  • Reply
    annaliz
    January 14, 2017 at 3:02 am

    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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