Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
La Befana – an Italian Tradition
La Befana was a tradition that I discovered while researching for a short story that was released two years ago for a limited time - A Christmas Bauble From La Befana. However, La Befana doesn’t visit at Christmas, but on Epiphany Eve, or January 5th, and has been doing so since the Eighth Century. There are different versions of the fable, but this is the one I chose to use in my story.
La Befana was known as the best housekeeper in her village and always kept a pleasant home. One day, after seeing the bright star in the sky, the one that announced the coming birth of Jesus, the Magi approached La Befana and asked for directions to where the Son of God could be found. She did not know but did provide the Magi shelter for the night. On the following morning when they were to continue their journey, they asked that La Befana join them. She declined because she was too busy with her housework and couldn’t make the journey. However, she later had a change of heart and tried to find the astrologers and Jesus. Unfortunately, she was unable to locate them, and to this day, she flys across the sky on her broomstick and continues to search and visits the homes of children. If they’ve been good, she fills their stockings with toys, candy, or fruit. If they’ve been bad, she leaves coal, onions, or garlic. Often she’ll also sweep the floor before she leaves.
For those who are interested in reading A Christmas Bauble From La Befana, it will be available during December as either part of a party or as a direct download. If you sign up for my newsletter, you'll know where you can read it for free.
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Making cut-outs is a tradition in our family. My mother made cookies for as long as I can remember and when younger I did more tasting than baking. But, as the grandchildren started to come along, she always had one day where they came over and decorated their own plate of cookies. It was messy, but it was fun. The tradition has continued and even though Mom is gone, her grandchildren always pick one day to get together, so they can share the tradition with their kids. This picture was taken a few years ago and we'll be decorating virtually this year, which could prove to be interesting.