La festa della Befana

Are we being haunted by bad luck or is this our lucky day? On Friday the 13th January 2017, the children asked themselves this question when an elderly lady, dressed in dark clothes, arrived in Kindergarten. Fortunately, the Italian bambini knew that it was Befana, the good witch who brings sugar spun.

According to legend, Befana was sitting at her loom in her house. When the three kings knocked at her door and asked Befana to accompany them to Bethlehem, to see the Jesus child, she declined the offer on the grounds of having to finish off her weaving.

Later she set out alone, but got lost. In Italy, the witch flies on her broom stick on the night of the 5th to the 6th January, and comes down through the chimney, bringing sweets to good children while the naughtier ones receive "carbone dolce", made of black-coloured sugar.

The Befana, known to our children, is a "Europeanized version" of the Italian witch. In anticipation, the children waited in front of the large (cardboard) fireplace for Befana. When the kind witch finally arrived, the children were very happy. The old witch didn't lose her cool. At first, she had "molto" espresso and answered patiently the questions of the curious bambini. When the Italian and French children began singing traditional songs, she felt very honoured.

La Befana vien di notte (Befana comes at night)
con le scarpe tutte rotte (with her worn-out shoes)
col cappello alla romana... (with her Roman hat)
VIVA VIVA LA BEFANA! (long live Befana)

She was particularly touched when some of the little ones spontaneously hugged her and expressed genuinely expressed their affection. There was a very cheerful atmosphere in Kindergarten. And since, of course, all children had been good, they were given sweets and "carbone dolce" only as a little reminder of role-model behaviour. The "bewitched" visit as well as Epiphany mark of the Christmas celebrations.

We are now looking forward to carnival!