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Why we celebrate "the witch"?

Why we celebrate "the witch"? Broken shoes, torn clothes and a broom as a means of transport. Between January 5 and 6 comes the old woman who brings gifts, like the Magi to the Christ Child

Socks records and traditional sweets. La Befana no exceptions and arrives on time on 6 January. There are initiatives throughout Italy and many trace the story of the old lady. On twitter hashtag is #Befana.

Befana = Epiphany 
Yes, the word is the same in origin. Epiphany is a popular variation of the greek word which means Epiphany appearance. It is also the personification of the Epiphany: the old, ugly but beneficial, that night, going down the chimney, leaves in the stockings of good children gifts and sweets, coal to the bad.

Gifts
The memory goes gold, frankincense and myrrh, offered by the Magi to the baby Jesus, but the Italian folk tradition has transformed them into fruit, sweets and toys. Legend also says that the Magi are knocking at the door of the old woman to ask for directions to Bethlehem. He refused to go with them, but he repented and decided to join them. Not finding knocked on every door leaving a gift hoping the baby of the house was Jesus.

Fire
You burn in different parts of Italy puppets with the image of the old. It would be a survival of pre-Christian myths Scholars see in the burning of the puppet (the Old, the Epiphany, the Witch), which persists a bit 'everywhere in Europe, the survival periodic evil spirits, tracing the myth of the Epiphany traditions magical pre-Christian.

Ancients
The ancient myths are those related to the end and the beginning of the year such as Christmas and New Year with the rebirth of nature after the winter solstice.

Twelve nights
Are those that pass between Christmas and Epiphany. The ancient Romans believed that female deities led by Diana flew over the fields to make them fertile. Always these twelve nights were those which featured Perchta, the German lady of the beasts, known further north as Holda. Looks beautiful white as snow or in the guise of the Epiphany older.

stocking
The longest in the world will be in Piazza Duomo in Milan, an event to open the year of the Expo. The sock is environmentally friendly, made with wire resulting from the mechanical recycling of bottles collected in Italy. Measuring 2015 meters and its colors refer to those of the Universal. The public roll out.

Firefighters
Pistoia as an example of a tradition that is also in other Italian barracks. Since 1994 the Fire Department Pistoia do land the Befana in Piazza del Duomo, the Campanile, 66 meters high.

Rome
In the capital, the home of the Epiphany is the Piazza Navona, but not only here the initiatives for the old lady.

Urbania
Every year there is the national holiday of the Epiphany January 2 to 6. The old lady down the tower, prepares coal, rides a bike, in wheelbarrow, makes the sack race and descent acrobatics.

Fornovo
In the province of Parma, Fornovo Taro, there is the National Meeting of Befane and Befani. Top some witches in Rome in 2014.