The Epiphany (that all the holidays take away!) is the party that sees as protagonist La Befana and is the last of the festive occasions of the Christmas period so, in this sense, represents an end.
At the same time it is also a new beginning, a light and festive way to kick off the New Year in the name of joy and good intentions.
La Befana: regional events and traditions
This year, January 6 will be a Friday, for this are already many to have organized to spend a weekend out of town on the occasion of the Epiphany.
But what are the best places in Italy to spend this holiday and participate in the most original events?
The Regatta of the Befane in Venice
A classic tradition that every year attracts many curious spectators to see La Befana move with a means that for her appears to be nothing short of unusual. The idea comes from the competition wanted by the members of the Rowing Club and, of course, all participants in the race are strictly disguised as Befana!
An opportunity to celebrate the Epiphany with originality and to visit the beautiful Venice.
The Befana and the markets of Piazza Navona
The markets of the Epiphany of Piazza Navona are a famous tradition of the capital to which the families of Rome and surroundings almost never give up. An opportunity for fun for adults and children who can walk among the stands of one of the most beautiful markets in Italy and among the oldest in Lazio.
Great news this year, in addition to the classic stalls (where, among other things, you can enjoy the sweet caramelized apple) there will also be a charming puppet theater.
Madame Befana and Monsieur Befano in Fornovo Taro
Have you ever thought that there is a kind of “Miss Befana and Mister Befano”? We are in Fornovo Taro, in the province of Parma, and here on the day of the Epiphany there is a real gathering of “befane” and “befani” who, between a song and a dance, compete to be elected Madame Befana and Monsieur Befano.
A fun and definitely original event!
The Epiphany in Naples: big party in Piazza del Plebiscito
The Epiphany in Naples is experienced as a big party hosted by the large Piazza del Plebiscito that opens with the Civic Fanfare of firefighters accompanied by a musical band.
Here, from morning to evening on January 6, there are workshops and tastings of baked goods and delicious desserts. The event sees the participation of known personalities of the regional panorama and not only.
In fact, you can meet taste professionals such as Luigi Liguori, famous for his nougats, the pastry chef Vincenzo Ferrieri and the award-winning pizza chef Vincenzo Varlese.
The Epiphany of Urbania
Our compatriots from Marche are convinced of this: the Befana has always lived in Urbania. That is why it is here that a great party is organized, among the oldest, dedicated to her.
The festivities in Urbania last three days and, just like his friend Santa Claus, even the Befana here has its home not bad.
The city is transformed: between the stockings hanging in all the streets, stalls full of sweets, shows, music and parades, you will feel like being in an almost enchanted way. The event is so felt that, citizens and not, they dress in themed clothing and traceable to the Epiphany and walk the streets cheering the event even more.
The Pan and Vin Friulano
Pan e vin is not just a custom in Friuli but is an Italian tradition, adopted by several cities in various regions. Pan e vin, in fact, means “bonfire” and it is, in fact, to organize a bonfire at the beginning of the year that is a good omen. Fire is the way to attract good luck while, the direction of the smoke will indicate whether the trend of the new year will be positive or negative.
And what burns? Often, to be used for the bonfire at the beginning of the year is just La Befana in the form of scarecrow. Around the bonfire are set up banquets where you can sip a hot drink and enjoy some appetizers while admiring the fire in the center.
A surely bizarre tradition, that belongs to the Bel Paese for a long time and that symbolizes a gesture of good wishes: it burns “the old one” that represents the end of the year just passed and from its ashes can start the new one.
The Italian traditions related to the festival of La Befana are really many and all original but if you decide to spend this holiday in the warmth of your home you can still carry on your traditions: milk and cookies to refresh La Befana, stockings hung in every room, sweets and small gifts but not forgetting a bit of coal for the naughty!