A traditional bank holiday in Italy today: la Befana.

In Italy, la Befana is traditionally an old woman (a kind of a good witch) who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas.

According to a tradition la Befana visits all italian kids on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany’s night to fill their socks with candies and little gifts if they were good, or a lump of coal or dark candy if they were badly behaving. Traditionally, all Italian children may expect to find a lump of “coal” in their stockings (actually rock candy made black with caramel coloring), as every child has been at least occasionally bad during the year.

It’s just another nice occassion to pamper our kids one more time.

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