La Befana – The Witch Who Goes Around Gifting

Italy’s traditional celebration during the New Year includes the tale of a white-haired witch known as La Befana who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5 and fills the stockings with toys and sweets for the good children and lumps of coal for the bad ones.

According to the legend, Epiphany commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. It is believed that the night before the Wise Men arrived at the manger they stopped at the shack of an old woman to ask directions. They invited her to come along but she replied that she was too busy. Then a shepherd asked her to join him but again she refused. Later that night, she saw a great light in the sky and decided to join the Wise Men and the shepherd bearing gifts that had belonged to her child who had died. She got lost and never found the manger.

Today, La Befana flies around on her broomstick each year on the 11th night, bringing gifts to children in hopes that she might find the Baby Jesus. Children hang their stockings on the evening of January 5 awaiting the visit of La Befana.

Many interesting events happen in Italy during this season, that is, during the months of December and January. It is a convenient option to hire a car to move around checking out the various interesting events and festivities that happen in Italy during the holiday season. There are many car rental services that extend their services across Italy. www.car-rental-italy.com is one of the economic options to hire a car. They have a wide fleet of cars catering to your individual needs from 2 door economy cars to 9 seat Minivans, automatic transmission cars and much more. They offer economy packages to suit the needs of tourists to make their holiday in Italy a memorable one.

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