La Befana – One Cool Crone

Thanks to global warming La Befana is going to have to navigate through some strange old weather as she visits the children in Abruzzo tonight to celebrate Epiphany – the 3 King greeting of the new-born Jesus celebrated in Catholic countries on the 6th January.

For those who have never heard of La Befana before, she is a witch, sorceress, or think Macbethian old crone, whizzing across the Italian countryside on her broomstick.   Children hang up stockings next to the chimney, her entrance to their house, which she whooshes down and leaves gifts depending on their behaviour; she leaves lumps of coal, and onion and garlic for the naughty (still obviously a gift though, bringing warmth and the means to fight off winter colds) and for the virtuous sweeties & small gifts.

She’s one famous witch who has become a noted eco-warrior due to her green method of transport – no methane producing reindeers, recycled rags for clothing and who only needs some bread soaked in wine to facilitate her passage through the night.  What a cool crone!

For a brilliant article on La Befana’s pagan and cultural history  read – The Befana Tradition

Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 11 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance travel and food web content manager and copywriter and EFL teacher - she is the founder of English in the Woods. She is the co-founder of the social enterprises: The Abruzzo Blogger Community and Let's Blog Abruzzo. She is currently writing the book 'Abruzzo: Folk and Food.

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