According to Italian legend, La Befana was an elderly woman who was busy sweeping her front stoop when three wise men passed by on their way to visit the Christ child. Because of her chore, she could not go with them, and later realized what an opportunity she had missed. Now, to make up for her mistake, she flies on her broom to visit all the children of the world every January, leaving gifts for the well-behaved and coal for the naughty.
It is always fascinating to see the cultural differences that exist throughout the world. According to the story of La Befana, witches prove to be a symbol of Christmas in Italy but in the United States, they go hand in hand with Halloween. The tale of La Befana is believed to be the origin of the trope of witches flying on brooms.
Keep La Befana in your kitchen all year round to remind you of the richness of folklore with our 2017 Edition Florentine Kitchen Witch, hand-stitched by Letizia in the heart of Florence. Letizia has developed special relationships with fabric suppliers around the world, and with this unique access, she acquires remnants of spectacular weaves, and transforms them into pieces for everyone to enjoy, such as this charming figurine.
You can often find Italian children singing her song:
La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!
The English translation is:
The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long live the Befana!