La Befana

 

I was trying to decide just what I could do which would be both seasonal as well as apporpriate for my blog, when the perfect answer had come to me. Though I know have been away awhile and negelegeted this neck of the woods. I have been busy and now I have the perfect new entery.

Of course we all know of Santa Clause, though many different myths and tales associating around the figure, but I want to talk about a all together different figure whom many probably have not heard of that serves much the same purpose as Jolly old St. Nick. I am speaking of La Befana, which translate to The White Witch, so who is La Befana? She is a figure from Italian culture, and she very much does embody the rather common and typical imagery of a witch. She is an old hag like woman, who much like Santa Clause is rather round in figure. She very strongly resembles the typical kind of witch seen as part of Halloween decorations, with a big nose and gray hair. She is said to either ware gray or brown. She is believed to ride either upon a flying broom, or some stories say a donkey, and she carries with her a large sack of gifts with which to leave behind to the children of the world, as well she is said to leave both food and presents within the stockings of children.

Some people have come to believe that La Befana is Santa Clause’s wife and she helps him out, and it is from her that the idea of naughty children being left a lump of coal has come. It is always said that often before leaving a house she will use her broom to sweep the floor. Much like leaving milk and cookies for Santa Clause in the common American tradition. Children would leave  La Befana, a small glass of wine, as well as a few morsels of food behind and usually the food is something that is local to the particular area