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Epiphany weaves traditions and deep religious meanings, and for the little ones it is the night of the gifts, in remembrance of what the Three Kings offered to the Child Jesus. Epiphany is a Christian festival which on 6 January celebrates the arrival of the wise men who came to see Jesus Christ soon after he was born

Term of Greek origin, "epiphany" means "manifestation" and in Christianity it recalls the apparition of God to men through Jesus. Epiphany is linked to the adoration of  the Three Wise King, the baptism of Christ in the Jordan …

River and the miracle of water transformed into wine at the Wedding at Cana.
Among the traditions related to the Epiphany there are the comet star that guided the Three Wise King to the Child Jesus, gifts to the children with the “Befana” stocking in Italy, while in many European countries is preparing a dessert with inside the image of one of Three Wise Men, who will make the king of the day who finds it.
In Italy the folklore linked to the Epiphany focuses mainly on the figure of “Befana”, a name derived from lexical corruption of the term Epiphany. The popular tradition depicts Befana as a hag, but good, who flies on a broom and visits the houses to leave a stocking with sweets and fruit to the children, but also with charcoal if the child has not behaved well. The pagan roots of the old figure evoke the Twelfth Night after the winter solstice when the rebirth of nature began. In ancient Rome it was believed that, to propitiate good crops, beneficial female figures were wandering in these Twelfth Night on the recently sown fields The link with the old year has fueled the tradition of "burning the old woman" depicted by a puppet with shabby clothes.
About Befana puppet, exhibited on the night of the Epiphany, it is already spoken in texts of the fourteenth century and in the sixteenth century in the pages of Francesco Berni and in the Rime (Rhymes”) of Agnolo Fiorenzuola. In the eighteenth century Domenico Maria Manni wrote the historic news of the origins and meaning of the witches. Also in the nineteenth century Giovanni Pascoli wrote the poem “The Befana”:
«Coming, coming Befana / comes from the mountains at night. / How tired she is! Snow surrounds her /, frost and tramontana ...». And in popular nursery rhymes there are many variants of the well-known: «Befana comes at night / with shoes all broken / with patches to the petticoat: / long live, long live the Befana!». (Anna Ferrero)

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