I have been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but have been very busy. My mother is visiting, and we have all been a bit sick with a cold, we also endured 4 days without LPG (gas for the casa) so we had no heat and no cooking and by some weird coincidence we lost our internet as well. Then the pompa (water pump) was not fully functioning. It was quite a long and I mean long weekend. But that brings me back to this post.
In Italy, the Epiphany is a national holiday. The epiphany in Christianity is January 6, the 12th day of Christmas, when the Magi arrived at Bimbo Gesu (baby Jesus) and came to the brilliant realization that he was the son of God. Well as Italian folklore goes, on the way, the Magi were lost and stopped at the cabin of an old woman, Befana, to ask directions, probably the last recorded time a man has stopped to ask for directions. The magi then asked Befana if she would like to join them on the journey. She refused but later decided when she saw the bright star in the sky that she would like to join them, so she hopped on her broom and flew threw the sky in search of the Bimbo Gesu. She never found him, so to this day on January 6 each year she flies around to the houses of children hoping to find Jesus. She leaves stockings with small gifts and candy for the good children and carbona (coal) for the bad ones.
I really like learning about these traditions, but it take me back to my post of October 31 on the tangled web we weave with our children. So now, do I become Befana also. I am going to start having some sort of personality disorder, but as I say, when in Rome....
So I became Befana. We were given a lovely stocking by a woman in the village and I filled it with candy and lego mini figures. No carbona, not because my children are saints, but in Italy the Carbona is actually a candy made of black sugar. Yikes and I wasn't prepared to go down that road, though I was intrigued.
Mieran and I decided to needle felt a Befana, one of which had a little sack with two chocolates and we took it to the lovely woman in the village. And in the end, it was a lovely little treat for our children to wake up to see that Befana had come. Kind of like Christmas with out the pressure of the whole holiday.