Epiphany is the name of a national Italian holiday that falls on January 6.
In the night of the 5th January, la Befana – an ugly old woman – flies with a broomstick delivering both socks full of candies to good children and socks full of (sugar-made) coke to naughty children.
But who is this woman?
According to the legend, la Befana wanted to accompany the three magi to bring some gifts to baby Jesus. However, since she was too busy to do housework, at the last minute, she decided not to go. The next day, she changed her mind. So, she prepared some gifts for baby Jesus and began to search for the stable by herself. Unfortunately, she never found the stable. However, she didn’t stop the search. That’s why she continues to visit every house bringing gifts: she’s still hoping to find baby Jesus.
In Italy there is also a poem about la Befana:
La Befana vien di notte -> The Befana comes by night
Con le scarpe tutte rotte -> With her shoes all tattered and torn
Il cappello alla romana -> She comes wearing a Roman-style hat
Viva, viva la Befana! -> Long life to the Befana!
What about you? Are there similar holidays in your country?