Befana the Christmas Witch?

Santa Claus and Christmas themed events from around the world

Befana the Christmas Witch?

Postby SnowMau on Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:03 pm

Anyone ever heard of the Christmas Witch? In Italy their version of "Santa Claus" isn't a round plump and jolly fellow the drives a sleigh, but rather a woman named Befana who, according to legend, was approached in her home by the Three Wisemen who asked for directions. She didn't know, but was invited to join them to find the Christ Child. But Befana was too busy with her house work. Later on however, she changed her mind and tried to catch up but to no avail...so to this day she brings presents to good children...and like Santa Claus brings coal to the naughty ones. :mrgreen:
It's always so fascinating to find what other cultures think of. From what I remember, she even rides on a broom.
Look out Rudolph, Santa might just replace you with the cute, magical, Christmas Kittens!
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Re: Befana the Christmas Witch?

Postby Chris on Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:18 pm

My cousin was stationed in Italy about 4-5 years ago and he told me about it. Until that point I hadn't heard of it, and had actually forgotten about it until I saw your post!

SnowMau wrote:Anyone ever heard of the Christmas Witch? In Italy their version of "Santa Claus" isn't a round plump and jolly fellow the drives a sleigh, but rather a woman named Befana who, according to legend, was approached in her home by the Three Wisemen who asked for directions. She didn't know, but was invited to join them to find the Christ Child. But Befana was too busy with her house work. Later on however, she changed her mind and tried to catch up but to no avail...so to this day she brings presents to good children...and like Santa Claus brings coal to the naughty ones. :mrgreen:
It's always so fascinating to find what other cultures think of. From what I remember, she even rides on a broom.
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Re: Befana the Christmas Witch?

Postby Frothy on Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:47 am

In many European countries such as Austria, Croatia and Hungary, there is also the Krampus, a monster who serves as Santa Claus' companion. He goes with Santa. Santa gives gifts and treats to good children while Krampus gives the bad children some charcoal and punishes them.
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Re: Befana the Christmas Witch?

Postby mysticchristmas on Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:45 pm

La Befana is also a Custom of my Mother's Home Country of Italy, although it was Never really spoken of and Santa Claus was Adopted as our Christmas Figure.
I don't know too much about La Befana, but I suppose I should work on finding out more.
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