Today is Epiphany. I looked it up and it is the day the Magi came to the baby Jesus. The day before Epiphany is called Twelfth-night or Twelfth-day and marks the end of Christmastide. In Italy the Eve of Epiphany is when Befana comes bringing gifts for the children.
The Piazza was filled with booths selling things. Many of them seemed to be linked to Befana. I noticed LOTS of stockings for sale like we are more used to seeing at Christmas.
So I looked it up on Wikipedia and here is what it says:
In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their stockings with candy and presents if they are good. Or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. In many poorer parts of Italy and in particular rural Sicily, a stick in a stocking was placed instead of coal. Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. To some the sweeping meant the sweeping away of the problems of the year. The child’s family typically leaves a small glass of wine and a plate with a few morsels of food, often regional or local, for the Befana.
Pretty familiar. I liked the sweeping away the problems of the previous year. In Umbertide Befana arrives in an Ape (pronounced app-ay). One of those little 3 wheeled vehicles with a truck bed. How perfect! They attached a chair for her to sit in and she throws candy to all the children who surround the Ape. It drives around the Piazza. There was a band of course. The Ape beeped it’s horn as it went.
I was shooting these with my zoom from our house so they are kind of blurry but you get the idea.
I am not sure if there is any activity associated with the Epiphany. I heard the church bells ringing this morning at 8AM. I believe there is supposed to be a feast.
Luther is now fighting the cold I had. We also are waiting for Emanuele to bring some packages of things I ordered. Last night when Luther went into the kitchen all the lights went out when he turned them on – there was a POP sound. uh oh. So hopefully Emanuele can fix them.